Queer Legal Victories: Intersectionality Revisited
QUEER MOBILIZATIONS: LGBT ACTIVISTS CONFRONT THE LAW, pp. 38-51, Scott Barclay, Mary Bernstein and Anna-Maria Marshall, eds., NYU Press, September 2009
14 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2010 Last revised: 2 Feb 2010
Date Written: September 1, 2009
In my 1995 Article, Queer Intersectionality and the Failure of Lesbian and Gay "Victories,” I merged queer and intersectionality theories to critique four lesbian and gay legal "victories." I argued that queer identity intersected with other identity characteristics, yielding queer communities whose diverse needs reflect their various class, race, gender, and sex identifications. This intersectional perspective led me to view these decisions as victories for only a privileged subset of queer communities who, “but for” their gay or lesbian identity, conform to the “American dream.” The United States’ juridical heterosexism stifled the progressive potential of these cases. Since that Article, the intersectionality of queerness has become accepted wisdom. This Chapter applies a queer intersectional analysis to more recent queer legal successes on privacy and marriage, interrogating both their utility and some of the queer critiques that have greeted them.
Keywords: Discrimination, Intersectionality, Queer, Lesbian, Gay, LGBT, Identity, Equality
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