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Marriage, Cruising, and Life in Between: Clarifying Organizational Positionalities in Pursuit of Polyvocal Gay-Based Advocacy

53 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2010 Last revised: 13 Nov 2010

Douglas NeJaime

Yale University - Law School

Date Written: May 1, 2003

Abstract

This Article explicates a model of LGBT rights advocacy that focuses on pluralism and representation across a broad range of constituents. Drawing on cause lawyering work on the interactions among donor, client, and lawyer goals, I propose a model of representation that values intra-group debate, representation of constituents across the LGBT population, and the maintenance of multiple organizations equipped with divergent political and theoretical postures. With this model in mind, I analyze four LGBT rights organizations to explore the extent to which they embrace and facilitate a pluralistic model of representation. More specifically, I use the issue of marriage for same-sex couples as a way to understand each organization’s position and its relationship to a range of LGBT issue areas. If a goal of LGBT rights advocacy is to encourage competing discourses and representational moves, the ideal organization is neither one that advances normalization (through marriage) in a wholesale fashion nor one that rejects marriage as anti-progressive and limiting. Instead, the ideal organization, or combination of organizations, occupies both ends of the internal marriage debate and provides representation for constituents along a broad spectrum of LGBT life.

Keywords: LGBT, gay, advocacy, social movements, same-sex marriage, marriage equality

Suggested Citation

NeJaime, Douglas, Marriage, Cruising, and Life in Between: Clarifying Organizational Positionalities in Pursuit of Polyvocal Gay-Based Advocacy (May 1, 2003). Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (CR-CL), Vol. 38, p. 511, 2003; Loyola-LA Legal Studies Paper No. 2010-47. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1674164

Douglas NeJaime (Contact Author)

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

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