University of Limerick
Browse
Neary_2016_civil.pdf (654.57 kB)

Civil partnership and marriage: LGBT-Q political pragmatism and the normalisation imperative

Download (654.57 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2017-02-17, 12:32 authored by Aoife NearyAoife Neary
The last decade has seen significant change in LGBT-Q politics in many (neo)liberal democracies. In Ireland, Civil Partnership (CP) was signed into law in 2010. While LGBT-Q advocacy groups had been divided over the terms of CP, they presented a united front in favour of marriage and in May 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to vote in favour of same-sex marriage in a constitutional referendum. This article begins from a personal moment as I sat in a television audience where a polarized debate – mainstream ‘progressive’ Left in favour of marriage equality versus ‘conservative’ religious Right against – ensued. It draws on interviews with five advocates in LGBT-Q politics and an analysis of print media related to CP and marriage from January 2010 until January 2014. This article inquires into the discourses and decision-making as CP and marriage emerged. It is anchored by the work of Michel Foucault, Judith Butler and others, focusing on the concepts of discourse, truth, normalization and equality. I demonstrate how the advocates adopted a politics of pragmatism and employed integrative, assimilationist strategies in line with consensus politics. I show how these approaches played their part in foreclosing radical sexual politics or broader kinship discussions. The article asserts that the advocates were motivated by how CP/marriage had the potential to achieve ‘real life’, large-scale cultural change through normalization. However, I demonstrate how mobilizing a politics of change based on normalization and sameness simultaneously (re)produces an ‘acceptable’ sexual citizen and reassigns ‘others’ as peripheral.

Funding

Using the Cloud to Streamline the Development of Mobile Phone Apps

Innovate UK

Find out more...

History

Publication

Sexualities;19 (7), pp. 757-779

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Note

peer-reviewed

Other Funding information

IRC

Language

English

Usage metrics

    University of Limerick

    Categories

    No categories selected

    Exports

    RefWorks
    BibTeX
    Ref. manager
    Endnote
    DataCite
    NLM
    DC