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June 16, 2004

Epstein Elected 97th President of the American Sociological Association; Marriage Amendment Opposed

Washington, DC — The American Sociological Association (ASA), in its second online election allowing members to vote via the Internet, is pleased to announce that Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, Graduate Center of the City University of New York, was elected the 97th President of the ASA. Lynn Smith-Lovin, Duke University, was elected Vice President. Epstein and Smith-Lovin will assume office in August of 2005, following a year of service as President-elect and Vice President-elect, respectively.

In 2004, Epstein was honored with the ASA Jessie Bernard award for her pioneering work exploring women’s exclusion from the professions. Among her books are Woman’s Place (1970), Women in Law (1981), and her landmark theoretical work Deceptive Distinctions (1988). Perhaps her most central insight is that since women and men are far more similar than they are different—in terms of both abilities and aspirations—the exclusion of women from equal status in the workplace is without foundation and can only be attributed to inaccurate stereotypic notions of women’s lives, hopes, and abilities.

Election to President is the highest honor ASA members can bestow on a colleague. As President, Epstein will serve as Chair of the ASA Council, which governs the Association and its policies. She will also chair the Program Committee for the 2006 Annual Meeting, to be held in New York, NY, on August 12-15, 2006.

In announcing the results of the election, ASA Secretary Arne L. Kalleberg and Executive Officer Sally T. Hillsman extended their heartiest congratulations to the newly elected officers and committee members. The other newly elected officials include: four elected Council Members-at-Large, two members for the Committee on Publications, and six members for the Committee on Nominations.

Member Resolution on Marriage
Also on the ASA ballot, a member-initiated resolution opposing a U.S. constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was approved with a three-quarters voting in favor, 13% of voters opposing, and 8% abstaining (4% did not mark any choice). The resolution constitutes an official statement of the association in opposition to a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman because such an amendment would intentionally discriminate against lesbians and gay men as well as their children and other dependents by denying access to the protections, benefits, and responsibilities extended automatically to married couples. The resolution stated that sociologists “believe that the official justification for the proposed constitutional amendment is based on prejudice rather than empirical research.”

Similarly, in a separate opinion poll item, which asked, "Do you personally favor or oppose legislation that bans same sex marriage?", 2,394 member voters indicated that they opposed such legislation (79%), 256 indicated that they favored such legislation (9%), 260 abstained (8%), and 125 did not make a selection (4%).

The newly elected officers and their affiliations are:

Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Vice President-Elect
Lynn Smith-Lovin, Duke University

Council Members-at-Large
Rebecca Adams, University of North Carolina-Greensboro
Kathleen Blee, University of Pittsburgh
Ann Shola Orloff, Northwestern University
Bruce Western, Princeton University

Committee on Publications
Daniel B. Cornfield, Vanderbilt University
Christine Bose, University at Albany

Committee on Nominations
Scott Coltrane, University of California-Riverside
Susan Eckstein, Boston University
Irene Padavic, Florida State University
David Takeuchi, University of Washington-Seattle
Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, Colby College

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About the American Sociological Association
The American Sociological Association (, founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.