On February 12, 2004, San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses for all couples. Within a month, about 4,000 marriage licenses were issued to same sex couples, but then the Supreme Court of California put a stop to the practice. Many credit this period as being instrumental in leading to same-sex marriage becoming legal throughout the United States in 2015. This event celebrates the legal right of all couples to marry and also interrogates the limits of the focus on same-sex marriage as the keystone issue of the LGBTQIA+ rights movement. This 20th anniversary, occurring during a time of right-wing backlash and violence against LGBTQIA+ people, provides an impetus for bringing in race, class, and gender-expansive lenses to consider questions such as why state benefits flow through the institution of marriage?; does the institution of marriage make sense for marginalized people?; what does marriage provide and what does it foreclose particularly as we think of the future of radical organizing and movements?
Moderated by: Ari Shapiro, anchor of All Things Considered on National Public Radio
- Karma R. Chávez, Chair and Bobby and Sherri Patton Professor, Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, University of Texas - Austin
- Kenyon Farrow, journalist, media strategist and organizer; author of the 2004 essay Is Gay Marriage Anti-Black?
- Sasha Issenberg, journalist and author of The Engagement: America’s Quarter-Century Struggle over Same-Sex Marriage
- Priya Kandaswamy, Associate Professor, Women's Studies, San Diego State University
- Sophie Lewis, writer and scholar; author of Abolish the Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation
- Molly McKay Williams, attorney and civil rights activist for the LGBT community
Sponsor: Center for Research on Social Change
Co-sponsors: Othering and Belonging Institute, Center for the Study of Law and Society, Department of Gender and Women's Studies