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Queering Family TreesRace, Reproductive Justice, and Lesbian Motherhood$
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Sandra Patton-Imani

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479865567

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479865567.001.0001

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Irreconciliable Differences

Irreconciliable Differences

Socialization, Religion, and Race, 2008

(p.195) 7 Irreconciliable Differences
Queering Family Trees

Sandra Patton-Imani

Sandra Patton-Imani

NYU Press

I consider debates about Proposition 8, a California initiative that proposed banning same-sex marriage in 2008 after it had been legalized earlier that year. I explore family-making narratives of mothers of color in particular, in relation to political debates in news reports and letters to the editor between June and November 2008. Vociferous debate about children as symbols for the future of the nation engaged nationalist language of rights, equality, and “true Americans” on both sides. Sociopolitical fears about how legalizing same-sex marriage would affect children’s education and moral development infused sociopolitical narratives about the dangers of same-sex marriage for the United States. When the state initiative was passed on election night in November 2008, same-sex marriages were declared unlawful in the state. The simultaneous election of Barack Obama raised racial tensions about whose votes tipped which scales. I explore sociopolitical narratives of racial blame in news discussions of the political outcome.

Keywords:   Proposition 8, Racial blame, Socialization, Race, Queerness, Future of the nation, Equality, California

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