Journal article

Coming out and fitting in: same-sex marriage and the politics of difference

Same-sex marriage Sexual minorities Mass media Minority groups LGBTI Australia

This article argues in favour of same-sex marriage, but only under certain conditions. Same-sex marriage ought to be introduced in the Australian context in order to remedy the formal inequalities between lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens and their heterosexual/cisgendered counterparts.

One common method of justifying the introduction of formal same-sex relationship recognition has been via the promotion of LGBT “normalcy.” This article explores such a trend by analysing popular media and advertising, since media representations and coverage have been shown to affect the way the general public “learns, understands, and thinks about an issue” (Li and Lui 73). This article finds that the promotion of normalcy can, in fact, perpetuate hetero-norms, and only offer LGBT people an imaginary social equality. Such normalisation, it is suggested, is detrimental to a wider goal of gaining respect for LGBT people regardless, not in spite of, their identity and relationships. Yet, this article maintains that such imaginary equality can be avoided, so long as a plurality of possibilities for one’s intimate and familial life are actively legitimated and promoted.

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