Equality and Justice for Lesbian and Gay Families and Relationships

32 Pages Posted: 23 May 2009

See all articles by Nancy D. Polikoff

Nancy D. Polikoff

American University Washington College of Law

Date Written: May 22, 2009


In 1989, Tom Stoddard and Paula Ettelbrick, attorneys with the gay rights group Lambda Legal, published side-by-side opposing essays about whether marriage for same-sex couples should be a movement priority. Rutgers Law Review is publishing a 2009 symposium commemorating the 20th anniversary of these now-iconic essays. This article is part of that symposium. It places the Ettelbrick essay, and the groundbreaking case of Braschi v. Stahl Associates decided the same year, in the context of the gay rights movement's strong support of family diversity. It then critiques the contemporary right-wing marriage movement for blaming all social problems on family diversity/aka the decline of life-long heterosexual marriage. The gay rights marriage equality movement has fallen short as well for its acceptance of the primacy of marriage and its concomitant retreat from justice for diverse families and relationships. The article offers an alternative vision in which the law does not privilege marriage.

Keywords: lesbian and gay families

Suggested Citation

Polikoff, Nancy D., Equality and Justice for Lesbian and Gay Families and Relationships (May 22, 2009). Rutgers Law Review, Vol. 61, p. 101, 2009, American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2009-17, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1408686

Nancy D. Polikoff (Contact Author)

American University Washington College of Law ( email )

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