The Quotable Black Scholar: Melissa Harris-Lacewell on Gay Marriage
Dr. Melissa Harris-Lacewell
Typically advocates of marriage equality try to reassure the voting public the same-sex marriage will not change the institution itself. “Don’t worry,” we say, “allowing gay men and lesbians to marry will not threaten the established norms; it will simply assimilate new groups into old practices.”
This is a pragmatic, political strategy, but I hope it is not true. I hope same-sex marriage changes marriage itself. I hope it changes marriage the way that no-fault divorce changed it. I hope it changes marriage the way that allowing women to own their own property and seek their own credit changed marriage. I hope it changes marriage the way laws against spousal abuse and child neglect changed marriage. I hope marriage equality results more equal marriages. I also hope it offers more opportunities for building meaningful adult lives outside of marriage.
– Melissa Harris-Lacewell in “Rethinking Marriage. The World Has Changed. It’s Time!,” from The Nation, posted on AlterNet.com
Biographical Notes: Melissa Harris-Lacewell is Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University.
Posted by Ajuan Mance