Gender Differences and LGBT Rights
This chapter contends that there are important differences between lesbians and gay men in matters of relationships and monogamy, differences that have been largely ignored by both scholars and advocates. It argues that the push for LGBT rights, and in particular the need to present a unified and sympathetic “gay and lesbian” subject to the courts and public in order to attain marriage equality, has led many community leaders to “closet” gender differences. The chapter argues that the success of the marriage equality campaign may offer greater opportunities for admitting and engaging divergent gender patterns. But it also warns that the attainment of marriage equality may lead to a renewed attack on LGBT people, gay men in particular, whose sexual relationships fall outside of traditional and monogamous ideals. It also argues that there is a danger that some lesbians will disassociate themselves from gay men, given demographic trends showing that the former are more likely to participate in monogamous relationships and serve as parents.
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