Framing Same Sex Marriage: How Newspapers Covered Debates over the Definition of Marriage during the 2004 Election
During the 2004 election cycle, many states rushed to pass legislation that would prevent same sex couples from obtaining state-sanctioned marriages. Oregon and Georgia both proposed and approved bans on same sex marriage, but did so with varying levels of voter approval (57% & 75%, respectively). In an effort to understand how media might have influenced this outcome, this book presents a case study in media framing, using those states' newspaper coverage of same sex marriage legislation as the primary texts. The book also includes an introduction to framing theory and brief historical accounts of the institution of marriage as well as gay rights activism and how the two have come to be intertwined in public and private spheres. The framing analysis reveals the complexities of the debate over marriage, the attempt to define marriage, and the practice of analyzing media via distinct frames. This book will be useful for scholars in media, politics, communication, journalism, GLBT studies, and religious studies, as well as for anyone else who is interested in better understanding and shaping the debate over marriage legislation in the United States.
Bruce Drushel, Kathleen M. German, and Jenn Anderson
'Queer Identities/Political Realities' examines the intersection of political leadership, media coverage, and sexual identity with particular emphasis on the negotiation of meaning between public behavior and private behavior in the United States. Centering on cases that illuminate key issues, each chapter questions assumptions about media coverage and extends current theoretical understanding. Each chapter focuses on a specific case within the broader conceptual fabric of queer theory, media theory, or rhetorical criticism. Varied methodological approaches allow us to gauge public discourse of multifaceted controversies that involve same sex behavior. History reveals frequent occasions when private sexual behaviors surface to attract public interest. While the prejudices and discrimination against same-sex partnerships, whether casual or permanent, remain entrenched in United States culture, there have been occasions when the public discussion is riveted on instances. This book argues that public interest changes when the partners in such relationships are of the same sex. The extraordinary public prejudice against same sex unions and public censure has been well documented in other research reports and continues to receive attention in other scholarly publications. This book will examine the unique intersection of political leadership, media coverage, and same-sex behavior.
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