16 Mich. J. Gender & L. 147 (2009-2010)
The Gay Agenda

handle is hein.journals/mjgl16 and id is 151 raw text is: THE GAY AGENDA

jbby u/Idler*
I.    INTRODUCTION      * 147
A. Anti-Gay Mainstays . 149
1. Judicial Decisions Invoking
Institutional Competence . 150
2. Popular Discourse of Institutional Competence            157
3. Critique of the Institutional
Competence Arguments . 159
B. The Terms ofPro-Gay Advocacy . 161
1. Normalization, Especially the
Sex-Family Distinction . 161
2. Rights, Especially Equality . 172
A. Prime Example: Homeless Adolescents . 197
B. Other (Appropriated) Examples Collected and
Thematized . 202
This Article is designed to illuminate options that I believe have
been difficult for advocates of gay rights to imagine due to an incessant
culture war and the hard work of anti-gay forces that have kept pro-gay
advocates under persistent fire. The culture war, this paper argues, while
a fundraising boon and a media draw, compels a particular type of par-
ticipation and a particular reform agenda, eclipsing reform possibilities
that might be preferable in the long run.
From its side of the culture war, the anti-gay camp often speaks in
the language of protecting traditional family values. This elicits at least
two species of rejoinders from gay rights advocates.
Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law. My thanks go to Anastasia
Dubrovsky, Jeremy Fredericksen, Brittney Lacy and Rose MacKenzie for their re-
search assistance. Thanks also to many colleagues who provided useful feedback,
including Stacey Dogan, Rashmi Dyal-Chand, Taylor Flynn, Janet Halley, Wendy
Parmet, Dean Spade, fellow participants in the series of workshops entitled Up
Against Family Law Exceptionalism, sponsored by the Program on Law and Social
Thought at Harvard Law School, and participants in the Faculty Colloquium at
Northeastern University School of Law.


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