Response to Schneider's "The Power of Culture"

Essay Excerpt

[T]he pursuit of domestic life is decidedly not simple for lesbians and gay men, as Weston and Lewin also demonstrate and as Schneider noted. Gay people are persons who, on many cultural counts and for many other Americans, are strictly outside the moral possibility of participation in many essential forms of American life. In the spirit of Schneider's insistence on looking across the parts of a culture and of Tocqueville's enduring insights about family life and normative involvement in the affairs of the nation in the United States, I want to suggest an additional implication of Schneider's comments: More is at stake in gay and lesbian kinship than remaking the domestic sphere in a way that is safe for gay people. At issue, as Schneider wrote, is the enduring problem of living with and effecting change in "homophobia," the myriad social practices in the United States that compromise the lives of gay men and lesbians. (275)

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