American Sociological Association

Review Essays: Whither LGBT Rights in the Post-Marriage Era?

In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, extending government recognition of same-sex marriages nationwide, a casual observer might have been tempted to conclude that the work of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights movement was all but finished. Marriage equality had long appeared to be the central goal of this increasingly powerful movement, and the Supreme Court victory capped a dramatic shift in public opinion toward support for marriage equality, a shift that occurred relatively quickly and for a complex mix of reasons. But two recent books on LGBT rights and policies make the case that there is a great deal of unfinished business in this domain and, further, that the lessons of recent history within the United States and around the world should temper overly optimistic readings of the significance of the marriage win.

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Kathleen E. Hull





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