‘Live your liberation, don’t lobby for it’ : Australian queer student activists’ perspectives of same-sex marriage

Rodgers, Jessica (2009) ‘Live your liberation, don’t lobby for it’ : Australian queer student activists’ perspectives of same-sex marriage. In 3rd Queer Studies Easter Symposium , 9-14 April 2009, Mexico City . (Unpublished)


One topic covered in Australian queer university student print media is the legalisation of same-sex marriage. The legalisation of same-sex marriage is currently generating much debate in Western queer communities. Same-sex marriage is legalised in some countries such as, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium. It has been outlawed in Australia and most states in the US. Campaigns continue to reverse these restrictions. Other countries, such as the UK and New Zealand allow same-sex civil unions, providing couples with the rights afforded to married couples.

There is a range of research documenting queer communities’ attitudes towards this issue (for example Lannutti 2005; Clarke, Burgoyne and Burns 2006; Yep, Lovaas and Elia 2003; Wolfson 1993; Egan and Sherrill 2005). These studies document broad community views as well as those of community sub-sections. For example, Yip (2004) looks at the views of gay and lesbian Christians on same-sex marriage and Lahey and Alderson (2004) document the experiences of same-sex couples who have gotten married or who are waiting to get married.

Philosophical analyses consider the legalisation of same-sex marriage in relation to, for example, liberalism, equal rights, liberation, queer theory, citizenship, history, activism, religious discourse and feminism (Ferguson 2007; Jordan 2005; Josephson 2005; Lipton 2006; Sullivan and Chauncey 2005; Riggs 2007).

This paper explores Australian queer university student activist media’s representation of same-sex marriage, and the debates surrounding its legalisation. It examines a selection of queer student media from four metropolitan Australian universities, and the 2003 and 2004 editions of national queer student publication, Querelle.

This paper uses discourse analysis of queer student activists’ media representations of marriage to investigate this issue in one specific context – metropolitan Australian universities. This paper thus contributes to the history of queer activism, documenting what one group of young people say about the legalisation of same-sex marriage, and furthers research on queer perspectives of marriage and same-sex relationships.

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ID Code: 28493
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Keywords: same-sex marriage , gay marriage, queer activism, student media, queer media
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Culture Gender Sexuality (200205)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Media Studies (200104)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLITICAL SCIENCE (160600) > Political Theory and Political Philosophy (160609)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Jessica Lee Rodgers
Deposited On: 03 Mar 2010 07:02
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2014 22:38

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