chapter  6
The Contradictory Politics of Same-Sex Marriage
Pages 33

This chapter explores the many disagreements about the legitimacy and sanctity of marriage and who should be included and excluded. It compares legal changes, religious perceptions and activists' strategies as numerous actors have marshalled different values to fight for same-sex marriage. The chapter argues that the problem with this clash of values is that conflicts between opponents and supporters of gay and lesbian rights take centre stage on the political agenda. Although the legalisation of same-sex marriage is no longer a controversial issue in nations such as England, the political debates have raged in Australia about whether to have a referendum, a plebiscite or a conscience vote. The case study of legal changes to same-sex marriage in California is important to conflict of values as a way of avoiding policy developments. From the perspective of public policies, many reforms are still required for LGBT people within the political framework of neoliberalism.