Counter-Hegemonic Displays of Power & Love in San Fransisco.

Essay by mikeyaksichUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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The use of power to maintain and change the traditional ritual hegemonic view of marriage may ultimately lead to a civil transformation within society. The idea that marriage is traditionally reserved for a union between one man and one woman is being challenged through acts of transformative deviance to alter existing norms. Though some actions in support of same-sex marriage are transgressive forms of deviance, which do not change norms, the establishment has used many devices to preserve the 'natural' or socially inscribed definition of marriage to maintain a heterosexist world view. The actions taken by both sides of the debate use power to either maintain or transform social reality. The escalating transformative deviance displayed on behalf of and by same-sex couples is a direct result to hegemonic heterosexist norms which have been prevalent through society.

Recently the Massachusetts state legislator's inaction to ban same-sex marriage, which was recently ruled unconstitutional by the states supreme court, has sparked numerous debates and actions across the country.

The courts ruling in November of 2003 stated that "it is unconstitutional to bar same-sex couples from marriage and the rights endowed by the state" (Leff 2). In response to this Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco began to publicly distribute marriage licensees to same-sex couples. He stated that due to Massachusetts court ruling that "we are doing the right thing" (2). In response to over 3000 licenses issued conservative leaders have began to prepare to issue law suits to halt and void all licensees handed out. "No one made the mayor of San Francisco king; he can't play God" stated Randy Thomasson, director of the Campaign for California Families, a conservative religious organization (3). As the nation prepares for the outcome of the Massachusetts ruling and issuing of marriage licenses, responses to these...