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The Battle over Marriage

Gay Rights Activism through the Media

Leigh Moscowitz

Publication Year: 2013

Over the past decade, the controversial issue of gay marriage has emerged as a primary battle in the culture wars and a definitive social issue of our time. The subject moved to the forefront of mainstream public debate in 2004, when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom began authorizing same-sex marriage licenses, and it has remained in the forefront through three presidential campaigns and numerous state ballot initiatives. In this thorough analysis, Leigh Moscowitz examines how prominent news outlets presented this issue from 2003 to 2012, a time when intense news coverage focused unprecedented attention on gay and lesbian life.

Published by: University of Illinois Press


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pp. C-ii


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pp. iii-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xiv

As with any large-scale research project, I am indebted to many individuals whose support, insights, and guidance made this book possible, from its in-ception to its completion. First and foremost, I am indebted to and inspired by my activist informants?the communications directors, public relations directors, and presidents and founders of many of the nation?s leading gay ...

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1. Gay Marriage in an Era of Media Visibility

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pp. 1-24

My marriage, it?s my center. It?s the core of who I am as a human There are millions of Americans angry and disgusted by what they For nearly a decade, longtime partners Davina Kotulski and Molly McKay celebrated Valentine?s Day by dressing up in traditional wedding garb: Davina in a tux, Molly in a white gown. They stood in line with hundreds of opposite-...

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2. Fighting the "Batle to Be Boring": Marriage as a Portal into the Mainstream

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pp. 25-52

In the of_f_ice suite of the gay and lesbian rights organization Freedom to Marry, I waited patiently for my f_irst interview to begin. Across the table from me sat Samiya, the organization?s young communications director, who was rif_ling through the paperwork I had sent her before the interview. Her brow furrowed, she picked up her pen and began to circle and cross out several ...

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3. "The Marrying Kind": The Face of Gay Marriage in the News

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pp. 53-76

The July seven.oldstyle, 2003, edition of Newsweek magazine featured two ?poster couples?? one gay and one lesbian?to symbolize the controversial, captivating, and soon-to-be pervasive issue of gay marriage. Newsweek?s cover director, Bruce Ramsay, decided to do a ?split run? for that week, producing alternate cov-ers of the same magazine issue (White, 2003). One Newsweek cover photo ...

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4. Gay Marriage Goes Prime-Time: Journalistic Norms Frame the Debate

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pp. 77-98

At the end of the day, I understand some of the pressure that is on the news media. ?If it bleeds it leads.? Sensationalism versus substance. They?re worried about ratings. They?re worried about market share. They?re worried about their publisher being happy. And the gay rights issue is no dif_ferent from any other issue that ...

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5. Speaking Out: Representing Gay Perspectives in News Discourse

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pp. 99-124

On November six.oldstyle, 200eight.oldstyle, as CNN?s Anderson Cooper described, ?anger spilled into the streets? as demonstrators protested the passage of California?s Propo-sition eight.oldstyle (Doss, 200eight.oldstyle, November six.oldstyle). By a slim margin, 52 percent of the state?s voters approved the controversial ballot measure that reversed the earlier state supreme court decision, once again making same-sex marriages in ...

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6. Conclusion: The Trouble with Marriage

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pp. 125-134

Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created In the 2000s ?the politics of social dif_ference and gay identity? moved to the center stage in mainstream cultural debate (Becker, 200six.oldstyle, p. 219). The intense ...

Appendix: Studying Gay Marriage in the Media

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pp. 135-148


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pp. 149-150


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pp. 151-158


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pp. 159-170

E-ISBN-13: 9780252095382
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252038129

Page Count: 184
Publication Year: 2013