'But if you legalise same-sex marriage..': Arguments against marriage equality in the British press

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    Abstract

    This article uses a rhetorically informed thematic analysis to critically examine conservative arguments against same-sex marriage, as articulated in the British press at the time of a public consultation on marriage equality. Seven opposition arguments were identified: (1) marriage is by definition and tradition a union between a man and a woman; (2) marriage is designed as a framework for raising children; (3) if you allow gay marriage now, it will be polygamous and incestuous marriage next; (4) same-sex marriage would threaten the right to religious freedom; (5) same-sex couples already have equal rights; (6) changing the law to allow same-sex marriage would be undemocratic and (7) the government should focus on bigger priorities. Many of these arguments were a reworking of arguments previously used to oppose other forms of equality, although there was a notable absence of arguments explicitly based on assertions that homosexuality is immoral.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)37-55
    JournalFeminism and Psychology
    Volume24
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Keywords

    • rhetoric
    • heterosexism
    • equality
    • lesbian and gay
    • civil partnership
    • same-sex marriage

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