Our Families, Our Values: Snapshots of Queer Kinship

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Harrington Park Press, 1997 - Family & Relationships - 290 pages
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Our Families, Our Values challenges both the gay community and American society to examine carefully the meaning of family values and the nature of social institutions such as marriage and the family. It asks you provoking, even disturbing, questions such as: “Is it prudent for members of the Lavender community to mimic heterosexual marriage or define personal relations networks as families, when these institutions are rapidly collapsing?” “Are we attempting to mainstream American society into accepting different views of marriage and families?” “Are we subscribing to notions of sexual property that are inherent to the marriage ceremony and the institution of marriage, when we choose to be married?” Despite the complexities of this issue, marriage constitutes a privileged position in western society, and, as this book shows you, without the legal recognition of same-sex marriages, there are many fundamental rights, as well as privileges, denied to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons.

As Our Families, Our Values turns upside-down the widely accepted notion that only heterosexual people are entitled to get married, have sex, and rear children, you gain insight into personal struggles and affirmations that testify to the spirituality, procreativity, and wholesomeness of the diverse relationships of the Lavender community. You will also learn about various ongoing efforts to give religious pride to the various configurations of gay relationships, families, and values and the disruption of popular interpretations of the Scriptures that have been used to justify the oppression of sexual minorities. This book will intrigue you over and over again, as you read about:
  • value systems
  • transphobia
  • equal marriage rights
  • Buddhism's rejection of “traditional family values”
  • Brazil's sex-positive culture
  • differences between gay male social formations and families
  • choosing a language and terms that empower sexual minorities and the essence of the liberation movement
  • sex as communion
  • relationships based on nurture, not transaction

    Designed for academics and students of religion, pastors, priests, rabbis, and lay readers alike, Our Families, Our Values is a multifaceted view of the gay community's response to the public controversy over gay marriage, adoption, and foster care rights. Ideal as a textbook for courses in sexuality, theology, sociology, women's studies, and gay and lesbian studies, this book will both inform you and delight you as it reminds you that same-sex unions bring much cause for celebration and that religion and homosexuality are not mutually exclusive.

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About the author (1997)

Goss is chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Webster University.