The Gay and Lesbian Marriage and Family Reader: Analyses of Problems and Prospects for the 21st Century

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This book provides a convenient, single source for students and others who want to accurately understand the major issues gays and lesbians face that involve marriage and family life in 21st century America, including:

• legalized marriage and cohabitation
• parenting and coparenting
• child custody and adoption
• coming out to family members
• living in stepfamilies

This book will also prove to be valuable for those interested in anticipating changes in our laws and social conventions that will affect gay and lesbian marriage and family life in the near future; for homosexuals who want to enjoy the same economic, health, and other benefits afforded to both legally married and longtime, cohabiting heterosexual couples; and for all individuals interested in civil rights—since the estimated two million (the lowest estimate) to 30 million (the highest estimate) men and women who are gay or lesbian in America are the only adult citizens denied the right to legally marry a person of their choice; and they are generally discriminated against by the legal system and public alike when it comes to adopting children or retaining custody of their children in divorce cases involving a heterosexual spouse.

Today, these historical prohibitions and restrictions are buckling under the weight of changing social attitudes, and we appear to be at a revolutionary turning point in society, involving acceptance of same-sex marriage and child adoption and custody rights, if not the legalization of these phenomena.

The reality of same-sex marriage and parenthood also has profound ramifications for the psychological and emotional lives of the individuals involved. These individuals include, of course, not only the gays and lesbians who cohabit, marry, or become parents, but also their immediate and extended family members, and the children they raise. Since it is estimated that many, if not most, families have at least one member who is gay or lesbian, these revolutionary changes will likely affect most members of society.

What are the psychological, emotional, economic, and legal issues involved in same-sex marriage and parenthood? Can expansion of gay and lesbian marriage and family rights have negative, as well as positive, outcomes, for both the individuals directly involved and society as a whole? Should gay and lesbian individuals expect changes in the laws and social conventions over the next several years that will fundamentally transform their relationship to the institutions of marriage, family, and parenthood?

The answers to these and related questions are presented in this book, which brings together a collection of highly informed articles written by leading scholars in social science, social work, clinical psychology, and the law. These answers—which are based on findings from research studies and case analyses—will be of interest and value not only to gays and lesbians and their family members, but to everyone concerned about the issues and trends that involve same-sex marriage and family life—including social scientists, lawyers, politicians, family practitioners, clinical therapists, social workers, and journalists.

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What People Are Saying

Candan Duran-Aydintug
"The anthology is very professionally done and Lehmann has chosen very interesting articles."
Candan Duran-Aydintug, Associate Professor and Department Chair for Sociology, University of Colorado, Denver
Candan Duran-Aydintug
“The anthology is very professionally done and Lehmann has chosen very interesting articles.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781884092572
  • Publisher: Altschuler, Richard & Associates, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/21/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer M. Lehmann is an associate professor of sociology and women's studies at the University of Nebraska. She is the author of Durkheim and Women (Nebraska 1994) and the editor of Current Perspectives in Social Theory.
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Table of Contents

About the Authors
Economic Security and Financial Management Issues Facing Same-Sex Couples - Elizabeth M. Dolan and Marlene S. Stum
Do Wedding Dresses Come in Lavender? The Prospects and Implications of Same-Sex Marriage - Angela Bolte
Child Custody Determination: Implications for Lesbian Mothers - Candan Duran-Aydintug and Kelly A. Causey
The Effects of Traditional Family Values on the Coming Out Process of Gay Male Adolescents - Bernie Sue Newman and Peter Gerard Muzzonigro
Lesbian Stepfamilies: A Unique Family Structure - Pauline I. Erera and Karen Fredriksen
Psychotherapy with Gay and Lesbian Families: Opportunities for Cultural Inclusion and Clinical Challenge - Susan O'Dell
The Description of Gay and Lesbian Families in Second-Parent Adoption Cases - Catherine Connolly
Lesbian Motherhood: Negotiating Marginal-Mainstream Identities - Amy L. Hequembourg and Michael P. Farrell
Family and Friendship Relationships After Young Women Come Out as Bisexual or Lesbian - Ramona Faith Oswald
Gay stepfamilies: A Triple-Stigmatized Group - Roni Berger
Children of Lesbian Parents: The What, When and How of Talking about Donor Identity - Susan E. Barrett
Lesbian Couples Who Are Survivors of Incest: Group Work Utilizing a Feminist Approach - Patricia Groves and Connie Schondel
Recreating Mother: The Consolidation of ‘Heterosexual’ Gender Identification in the Young Son of Homosexual Men - Barbara K. Eisold
Closeting and the Quality of Lesbian Relationships - Sandra L. Caron and Marjorie Ulin
Bottoms v. Bottoms: In Whose Best Interest? Analysis of a Lesbian Mother Child Custody Dispute - Peter Nash Swisher and Nancy Douglas
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