Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Sexual minorities-Attitudes, Sexual minorities-Political activity, Same-sex marriage-Law and legislation, LGBTQ, Marriage equality, Same sex marriage, Political concern, Social movements, Political activism


This study was undertaken to explore a little researched and relatively little discussed area – for people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer (LGBTQ) who do not identify marriage equality as their primary political concern, what is and why? Also explored was how do they relate to this movement and what issues do they choose to prioritize? Thirteen participants living in the San Francisco Bay area were interviewed in person, and then interviews were transcribed and analyzed to expose themes. They were asked to share certain demographic information such as age, gender or gender identity, racial or ethnic identity, their sexual orientation or identity, their sense of community, and their political activism. They were then asked to reflect on same-sex marriage as a political issue and on which issues they feel are more relevant other than the concerns reflected within the Marriage Equality movement. Findings revealed a range of reasons for not identifying same-sex marriage as a primary political concern, from a questioning of the institution of marriage to wanting to prioritize people's more basic needs. All participants demonstrated an ability to hold dialectical tensions, or two seemingly opposing viewpoints simultaneously. Some participants cited personal reasons for not identifying with the marriage equality movement. This study offers a unique and often overlooked perspective from within a community that is already marginalized from mainstream society.




iii, 77 p. : col. ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 65-67)