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Legally StraightSexuality, Childhood, and the Cultural Value of Marriage$
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Joe Rollins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780814775981

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814775981.001.0001

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Old as the Book of Genesis

Old as the Book of Genesis

(p.39) 2 Old as the Book of Genesis
Legally Straight

Joe Rollins

NYU Press

This chapter looks at the early cases in the marriage debate beginning in 1971. At that time the procreation argument was asserted with little or no elaboration as an argument for denying marriage to lesbians and gays. Marriage, according to this argument, existed because the sexual activity of heterosexual couples, and only heterosexual couples, could result in reproduction. Focusing on uses of the argument shows that regulating sex and gender roles was a prominent concern of those opposed to lesbian and gay marriage. The chapter demonstrates that the opponents of lesbian and gay marriage are more concerned with regulating gender roles and sexuality, more specifically sex, than they are about supporting the integrity of the family. Children and childhood are secondary to the overarching concern with controlling sex, gender, and reproduction.

Keywords:   procreation argument, gender roles, regulating sex

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