Monday, November 24, 2008
Privileging (Gay or Straight) Marriage is Misplaced
For the November 24, 2008 edition of Subversity, a KUCI public affairs program, we talked with law professor Nancy D. Polikoff, author of a new book, Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage: Valuing All Families Under the Law (Beacon Press, 2008).
She argues that by privileging marriage under the law over other relationships, many people suffer, including those in domestic partnerships. She breaks with fellow queer activists who are now flowing into the streets to defend gay marriage after California voters approved Prop. 8 that banned gay marriage in California. She challenges those activists to see beyond gay "equality" arguments that restrict marriage benefits only to those willing to get married.
Nancy D. Polikoff is Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law, where she teaches in the areas of family law, civil procedure, and sexuality and the law. Previously, she supervised family law programs at the Women's Legal Defense Fund (now National Partnership for Women and Families), and before that she practiced law as part of a feminist law collective. For 30 years, she has been writing about and litigating cases involving lesbian and gay families. Her articles have appeared in numerous law reviews, and her history of the development of the law affecting lesbian and gay parenting appears as a chapter in John D'Emilio, William B. Turner, and Urvashi Vaid, eds., Creating Change: Sexuality, Public Policy, and Civil Rights (St, Martin's Press, 2000). She helped develop the legal theories in support of second-parent adoption and visitation rights for legally unrecognized parents, and she was successful counsel in In re M.M.D., the 1995 case that established joint adoption for lesbian and gay couples in the District of Columbia, and Boswell v. Boswell, the 1998 Maryland case overturning restrictions on a gay noncustodial father's visitation rights.
For more on the book, go to http://www.beyondstraightandgaymarriage.com/.
Her blog is at: www.beyondstraightandgaymarriage.blogspot.com/