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Love-Politics: Lesbian Wedding Practices in Canada and the United States from the 1920s to the 1970s

Resource type
Date created
2018-02-27
Authors/Contributors
Abstract
Lesbians have organized and participated in same-sex wedding ceremonies since the 1950s, but never without controversy, and the controversies have been as much among lesbians and gays themselves as between those opposed to homosexuality and those in favor of sexual rights. This article examines lesbian weddings in the United States and Canada in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s to consider the meaning of such ceremonies in the social, political, and temporal context in which they occurred. Building on Elizabeth Kennedy and Madeline Davis’ argument that butch and femme culture in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s was feminism in its pre-political stage, I argue that women of color and white women who in the 1970s campaigned for state recognition of their marriages represent one aspect of butch and femme culture in its political stage. Because these political demands stood in opposition to white feminists’ argument that marriage was an oppressive institution that should be abolished, this article invites us to question assumptions embedded in the analytical tools used by queer theorists and historians of sexuality, namely the emphasis on resistance against normativity as indicative of progressive politics.
Document
Published as
Chenier, Elise. "Love-Politics: Lesbian Wedding Practices in Canada and the United States from the 1920s to the 1970s," Journal of the History of Sexuality, Vol. 27, No. 2, May 2018.
Publication title
Journal of the History of Sexuality
Document title
Love-Politics: Lesbian Wedding Practices in Canada and the United States from the 1920s to the 1970s
Volume
27
Issue
2
First page
294
Last page
321
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
Scholarly level
Peer reviewed?
Yes
Language
English
Member of collection
Download file Size
jhs_love_politics_final_proof_edits.pdf 1.94 MB

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