Our Families, Our Values: Snapshots of Queer Kinship

Our Families Our Values CoverBook Description:

Our Families, Our Values challenges both the gay community and American society to examine carefully the meaning of family values and the nature of social institutions such as marriage and the family. It asks you provoking, even disturbing, questions such as: “Is it prudent for members of the Lavender community to mimic heterosexual marriage or define personal relations networks as families, when these institutions are rapidly collapsing?” “Are we attempting to mainstream American society into accepting different views of marriage and families?” “Are we subscribing to notions of sexual property that are inherent to the marriage ceremony and the institution of marriage, when we choose to be married?” Despite the complexities of this issue, marriage constitutes a privileged position in western society, and, as this book shows you, without the legal recognition of same-sex marriages, there are many fundamental rights, as well as privileges, denied to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons.

“A strong, multifaceted response to the bigotry and ignorance that today fuel the virulent and all too violent culture wars. At the core of this book lies the celebration of real partnership and, thus, real family values—community, empowerment, pleasure, and love.”

Riane Eisler, Author, The Chalice and the Blade: Sacred pleasure and the Partnership Way.

As Our Families, Our Values turns upside-down the widely accepted notion that only heterosexual people are entitled to get married, have sex, and rear children, you gain insight into personal struggles and affirmations that testify to the spirituality, procreativity, and wholesomeness of the diverse relationships of the Lavender community. You will also learn about various ongoing efforts to give religious pride to the various configurations of gay relationships, families, and values and the disruption of popular interpretations of the Scriptures that have been used to justify the oppression of sexual minorities. This book will intrigue you over and over again, as you read about:

  • value systems
  • transphobia
  • equal marriage rights
  • Buddhism’s rejection of “traditional family values”
  • Brazil’s sex-positive culture
  • differences between gay male social formations and families
  • choosing a language and terms that empower sexual minorities and the essence of the liberation movement
  • sex as communion
  • relationships based on nurture, not transaction

Designed for academics and students of religion, pastors, priests, rabbis, and lay readers alike, Our Families, Our Values is a multifaceted view of the gay community’s response to the public controversy over gay marriage, adoption, and foster care rights. Ideal as a textbook for courses in sexuality, theology, sociology, women’s studies, and gay and lesbian studies, this book will both inform you and delight you as it reminds you that same-sex unions bring much cause for celebration and that religion and homosexuality are not mutually exclusive.

Co-edited by:

Robert E. Goss, Th.D.,   is a faculty member of the Department of religion at Webster Uniersity in St. Louis. As an activist and former Catholic priest, he is author of Jesus ACTED UP: A Gay and Lesbian Manifesto (1993). He is co-founder of Food outreach, St. Louis, a food service organization that provides meals and nutritional supplements to persons living with HIV. He has been active with ACT UP St. Louis and Boston. In addition, he has transferred his clergy credentials to the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Church, where he is clergy on staff in St. Louis and is involved the training of future MCC clergy.  Dr. Goss is Co-Chair of the Gay Men’s Issues in Religion Group of the American Academy of Religion, He received his doctorate in theology and comparative religion from Harvard University.

Amy Strongheart Squires is a gay civil rights activist, public speaker, writer, and editor. Her commentaries, boo reviews, interviews, and news stories have appeared in over a dozen publications, including St. Louis Post Dispatch, for which she writes a regular commentary on lesbian and gay issues.  She is a member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and is a board member of Other Sheep: Multicultural Ministries with Sexual Minorities an internal ecumenical ministry to lesbians and gay. In 1991, when  Ms. Strongheart and her life-partner were joined the first public same-sex union on the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, she legally added the chosen name “Strongheat.”

Review by By Victoria S. Kolakowski

Series: Haworth Gay & Lesbian Studies

Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: Routledge (September 27, 1997)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1560239107
ISBN-13: 978-1560239109
Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.9 x 8.3 inches

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