chapter  5
29 Pages

Is Kinship Always Already Heterosexual?

The topic of gay marriage is not the same as that of gay kin-ship, but it seems that the two become confounded in U.S. popular opinion when we hear not only that marriage is and ought to remain a heterosexual institution and bond but also that kinship does not work, or does not qualify as kinship, unless it assumes a recognizable family form. There are several ways to link these views. One way is to claim that sexuality needs to be organized in the service of reproductive relations, and that marriage, which gives the legal status to the family form or, rather, is conceived as that which should secure the institution through conferring that legal status, should remain the fulcrum that keeps these institutions leveraging one another.