Monday, December 9, 2013

Societal Oppression

By Katie Shaw

"For individuals in same-sex interracial relationships, social support may be more challenging due to lack of support for the partnership based not only on sexual orientation but ethnic differences. This study investigated whether women in interracial same-sex couples reported different perceptions of social support from their significant others, friends, and family members in comparison to women in same-sex non-interracial relationships" (Jeong/Horne).

          This article focused mostly on how interracial lesbian couples interacts with one another, not specifically how society perceives them. What I found to be interesting is the fact that when a couple has fewer stressors coming from outside sources--lack of support from families, friends, or society in general--the couple is found to be happier and more successful. When society fails to recognize a same-sex interracial couple as legitimate, it creates another obstacle for the couple to overcome together, as if relationships didn't already have ample tasks to work on. Same-sex interracial couples also deal with a multi minority identity--being a same-sex couple has trials of its own, but adding an interracial aspect creates even more friction when dealing with society.

          Going back several decades to the court case Loving vs. Virginia that removed the ban against interracial marriage, there is a clear parallel between public opinion in 1967 towards interracial marriage, and today towards same-sex marriage. In an article from the LA Times titled "Marriage and the Court of Public Opinion," author Brian Powell states that “the Americans who most vehemently oppose same-sex marriage today — those with lower levels of education, Southerners, the elderly, the religiously orthodox — fit the profile of the Americans who once most strongly resisted the legalization of interracial marriage.” Interracial marriage has only been legal since 1967, and even then it was not popular. But once the ban was removed, public opinion followed. Apparently it takes a law being passed for people to realize that it’s not okay to deny people their basic human rights. But since the repeal of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (June 26th, 2013), which characterized marriage as the union of one man and one woman, this year we’ve seen six states legalize same-sex marriage.

Works Cited
Jae Y. Jeong, Sharon G. Horne."Relationship Characteristics of Women in Interracial Same-Sex Relationships." Journal of HomosexualityVol. 56, Iss. 4, 2009

Powell, Brian. "Marriage and the Court of Public Opinion." 5 December 2010.

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