Historian comments on Ireland’s Same-Sex Marriage Referendum

For years I have complained that social historians are all too rarely called upon to comment on current events. Well, I got called. Truth is they didn’t know I am a historian, so that might… Continue reading

Sex Workers Rights at a Historic Crossroads

After spending the spring working on an online archives and teaching tool – check out the results at interracialintimacies.org soon! – I am back to working on my book on same-sex marriage in… Continue reading

The Trouble with Invoking Jim Crow to Fight for LGBT Issues

Pink Panthers Movement’s Response to the Arizona Anti-Gay Law Arizona’s new bill allowing for discrimination based on sexual orientation is rightfully attracting a lot of pushback from LGBT activists. One of the go-to… Continue reading

Transnormativity debuts in Vogue?

Critics of the politics of the marriage equality movement have described it as heralding “homonormativity.” Here is a recent feature in Vogue that advances “transnormativity.” In both cases what we see is the… Continue reading

Activists go to jail for marriage equality

[Description: Blurred out text frames a photo of Nancy and Toby in the upper right corner the Headline: “Free Nancy Davis and Toby Schneiter Gay Marriage Now” dominating the middle.] Today, most of… Continue reading

1971 television footage of African American lesbians applying for marriage license

Video of Donna Burkett and Manonia Evans applying for a marriage license. Last week I interviewed Donna Burkett, an African American butch lesbian who spent her lifetime working in factories because she refused… Continue reading

Breaking the Chains of Homosexual Oppression: Girouard and Tremblay’s 1973 Gay Marriage Record Album

[Image Description: 1973 LP album art for Giourard and Tremblay, shows both men with their arms around each other’s waist and with their arms chained together with manacles, raising their arms into the… Continue reading

When Harry Married Bob

In 1973 Harry Freeman married Bob Jones at Boston’s Old West Methodist Church. Having a Christian ceremony was important to them. They had both been students in seminary school, and although they chose… Continue reading

The Gay Red Herring

One of the big news stories before Christmas 2013 was the United Methodist church’s defrocking of Rev. Frank Schaefer for officiating at his son’s marriage. His son is gay, as is the man… Continue reading

Are there degrees out ‘outness’?

In the history of lesbian and gay politics, historians put a lot of stock in whether or not the people we study were “out.” But what exactly does “out” mean? This past week… Continue reading