Assimilation, Marriage, and Lesbian Liberation

112 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2011

Date Written: December 1, 2002


The issue of assimilation is not unique to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered legal theories and litigation, thus the first task of this Article is a survey of the current legal theoretical interventions regarding assimilation in legal culture. Part II of this Article analyzes specific themes in legal scholarship regarding assimilation. Part III of this Article then distills three of these themes into concerns for lesbian legal theory: the problem of constitutional equality, the consideration of coercion, and lastly the more abstract investigation of the state’s interest in questions of assimilation. After a brief history of same-sex marriage and similar legal devices as developed in the United States, Part IV of this Article argues that marriage implicates serious and insoluble problems of constitutional equality, specifically questions of Sex-Equality , Familial Marriage (Incest), and Plural Marriage; the problem of compulsory matrimony, and the problem of marital identity and the state (including marital status discrimination). Because the issue of children and child-rearing is often coupled with marriage, Part V of this Article briefly examines the same concerns raised in the context of marriage in relation to lesbian parenting. Finally, this Article concludes that questions of assimilation with regards to marriage and parenting need to be taken much more seriously in our advocacy, litigation, and scholarship than previously, if we are to honor any claim to be a movement which includes liberation among its goals.

Keywords: lesbian, marriage, same-sex marriage, assimilation, family, children

Suggested Citation

Robson, Ruthann, Assimilation, Marriage, and Lesbian Liberation (December 1, 2002). Temple Law Review, Vol. 75, No. 4, 2002, Available at SSRN:

Ruthann Robson (Contact Author)

CUNY School of Law ( email )

2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics