Same-Sex Marriage and Language Appropriation Practices of Lesbians

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Journal of Homosexuality




Legal marriage has vacillated between being a private agreement made by two individuals and an agreement of social significance under the state’s control (Nokov, 2008; Smart, 2013). Presently, we are without a definition of marriage that serves our diverse population. The discourse surrounding same-sex marriage in the United States is a topic of interest, as explicit attention to communication in reference to these relationships has rarely been documented (Land & Kitzinger, 2005; Richman, 2014). Using a qualitative framework and semistructured interviews, this study investigated the relationship between marriage equality and its impact on language appropriation for 20 lesbians in varying parts of the United States. Analysis employing grounded theory and constant comparative method indicated that for this sample, access to legal marriage did not serve as a determinant for the adoption of language traditionally associated with marriage. Additionally, it indicated that marriage equality hinges on more than the support of the law.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Homosexuality on 27 Jul 2018, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00918369.2018.1500777.