Legal Marriage Is Not the Answer



Editor’s Note: Paula Ettelbrick, who died last year at age 56, was an attorney who spent most of her professional career advocating for GLBT rights, serving as the head of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund (1988–93), New York’s Empire State Pride Agenda (1994–99), and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (2003–09).

    This article, which appeared in the Fall 1997 issue, reminds us that once there was a time when not everyone in the GLBT movement was on board with the idea that same-sex marriage should be at the top of our agenda.  Ettelbrick opposed this objective on feminist grounds, and it’s interesting to note that her main argument against same-sex marriage is that it will only strengthen a bad institution—the exact antithesis of the conservative claim that letting gay people get married will fatally harm the institution of marriage itself.


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