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Sociologists' Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Caucus

July 15, 2004

Sociologists' Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Caucus

The Sociologists' Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Caucus was organized to:

Encourage unprejudiced sociological research on lesbians and gay men and their social institutions;

Provide a forum for current research, teaching methods and materials, and professional issues relevant to homosexuality;

Monitor anti-gay ideologies in the distribution of sociological knowledge and to investigate practices oppressive to lesbians and gay men;

Oppose discrimination against gay and lesbian sociologists in employment, promotion, tenure, and research situations;

Maintain a social support network among its members.


For more information, subscriptions or submissions to the newsletter, email Michael Handel, Diane Illig, or Kevin Henson



Friday, August 13, 2004


SLGBT Caucus and ASA Sexualities Section Reception. 6 to 9 PM

San Francisco LGBT Community Center. 1800 Market Street.


6:00-6:45 PM Simon and Gagnon Award Presentation—Barry Adam

Martin Levin Dissertation Award Presentation—Barry Adam

7:00-7:45 PM Activist Panel—Organizer, Eve Shapiro

7:45-10:00 PM Reception/Party






Saturday, August 14, 2004


10:30 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.


Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Paper Session: Negotiating Sexual Identities

Organizer: Mary Bernstein (University of Connecticut. Presider: Beth E. Schneider (University of California)



Feeling a Bit Under the Leather: Performativity, Embodiment and the Specter of Starched Chiffon

Peter M. Hennen (Ohio State University, Newark)


Rescripting Identities: Women Choosing Women

Teresa J Arendell (Colby College)


Queer Diasporic (Non) Identity: Japanese Lesbians Return Home

Amy L. Stone (University of Michigan)




Saturday, August 14, 2004


4:30 p.m. - 6:10 p.m.

Open Forum. What do Sociologist Have to Say About Same-Sex Marriage?

Organizers/Presiders: Nancy A. Naples and Kevin D. Henson


“Activist courts have left the people with one recourse. If we are to prevent the meaning of marriage from being changed forever, our nation must enact a constitutional amendment to protect marriage in America. … The union of a man and woman is the most enduring human institution, honoring--honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith. Ages of experience have taught humanity that the commitment of a husband and wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society.” --George W. Bush. February 24, 2004


Earlier this year, President Bush, claiming that “the welfare of children and the stability of society” were at risk, called for a constitutional amendment to “protect” different-sex marriage by explicitly excluding same-sex couples from the rites and rights of the marriage contract. Although the President’s plea was saturated with social science language, many social scientists have challenged the veracity of these claims. What does social science, specifically, sociology have to offer to the discussion about same-sex marriage? What are the local and global implications of defining marriage in a more restrictive fashion even as other countries are moving to expand access to state-sanctioned marriage contracts? What are the implications of the current conflation of religious and civil meanings of marriage in the United States? What are the implications for the women’s and LGBT movements of embracing same-sex marriage as a political issue? What stance should the state take in determining the best interest of children and their families? Should one family form be state-sanctioned above all others? Finally, what role do sociologists have as public intellectuals in the contentious political debates of our current culture wars? An invited panel of sociologists will open the forum by addressing different aspects of the debate on same-sex marriage. These opening comments will help establish a framework for all participants to discuss sociologists’ potential contributions to this important nation-wide debate.



Barry D. Adam (University of Windsor)

Juan J. Battle (Hunter College and Graduate Center, City University of New York)

Jodi O'Brien (Seattle University)

Judith Stacey (New York University)

Arlene Stein (Rutgers, State University of New Jersey)




Saturday, August 14, 2004


6:30-8:15 PM

SLGBT Caucus Business Meeting




Sunday, August 15, 2004


10:30 AM-12:10 PM

Creating an Inclusive Climate for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Students, Staff, and Faculty

Organizer/Presider: Betsy Lucal (Indiana University, South Bend)


In this workshop, graduate students and faculty will discuss their experiences at colleges and universities with varying levels of inclusivity. Among the issues to be discussed are: being the “pink elephant” in the classroom and teaching about sexualities, negotiating the pitfalls and promise of being out on campus (including issues related to getting tenure), mentoring LGBT students, the meaning of being “gender queer” within the context of a women’s college, and working with campus LGBT groups and university administrators. Workshop presenters will propose possible solutions and plans of action to create an inclusive climate.



Christina Borel (Simmons College)

Nancy A. Naples (University of Connecticut)

Peter M. Nardi (Pitzer College)

Beth E. Schneider (University of California)




Sunday, August 15, 2004


2:30 p.m. - 4:10 p.m.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies: The New Politics of Visibility

Organizer: Mary Bernstein (University of Connecticut); Presider/Discussant: Tina Fetner (Cornell College)



Social Norms, Inequality and Homophobia in The New York Times Advertising Business News

Angela Theresa Ragusa (University of New England)


'What's to Tell?': FtMs, Going 'Stealth,' and Workplace Disclosure

Kristen Rose Schilt (University of California, Los Angeles)


The Politics of Visibility: Lesbian and Bisexual WNBA Fans Balance Gaining Recognition and Saving the League

Susannah Kathleen Dolance (University of Michigan)




Monday, August 16, 2004


Workshop: Setting Up an Effective Cross-Institution Mentoring Program for LGBT Scholars. 10:30 AM-12:10 PM

Organizers/Presiders: Kristen Esterberg (University of Massachussetts, Lowell), Kevin D. Henson (Loyola University Chicago), and Melissa Embser-Herbert (Hamline University)



Barbara Risman (North Carolina State University), Verta A. Taylor (University of California, Santa Barbara), Mercedes Rubio (American Sociological Association), and Nancy Stoller (University of California, Santa Cruz)


The purpose of this workshop is to develop a cross-institution mentoring program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered scholars. Despite the political and social gains of past decades, many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered graduate students and faculty still feel isolated and lacking support in their home universities and departments. While many LGBT scholars have developed informal mentoring relationships over the years, there still remains a need for an institutionalized mentoring program. Representatives from the ASA Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Persons in the Discipline and the SLGBT Caucus will be joined by representatives from Sociologists for Women in Society and ASA's Minority Affairs Program to discuss effective strategies for developing a mentoring program.






Endorsed and Sent to ASA Membership by ASA Council on April 7, 2004. See Voting Results: 3,174 members cast ballots in the election (29.23% of the 10,858 voters). The member-initiated resolution opposing a constitutional amendment on same-sex marriage was approved with 75% of voters in favor, 13% opposed, 8% abstained, and 4% did not mark any choice.


On the separate Council-added opinion question asking "Do you personally favor or oppose legislation that bans same sex marriage?" 2,394 members voters indicated that they opposed such legislation (79%), 256 indicated that they favored such legislation (9%), and 260 abstained (8%), and 125 did not mark any selection (4%).


Text of Resolution


American Sociological Association Statement Opposing the Proposed Constitutional Amendment Prohibiting Same-Sex Marriage


WHEREAS the American Sociological Association (ASA) comprises sociologists and kindred professionals who study, among other things, sex and gender, sexualities, families, children, religion, culture, and systems of inequality and their effects, and


WHEREAS the ASA is dedicated to advancing sociology as a scientific discipline and profession serving the public good, and


WHEREAS a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman intentionally discriminates against lesbians and gay men as well as their children and other dependents by denying access to the protections, benefits, and responsibilities extended automatically to married couples, and


WHEREAS we believe that the official justification for the proposed

constitutional amendment is based on prejudice rather than empirical research, and


WHEREAS sociological research has repeatedly shown that systems of inequality are detrimental to the public good,


BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the American Sociological Association strongly opposes the proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.



-The Sociologists Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Caucus of the American Sociological Association (ASA)

-Family Section. Chair: Naomi Gerstel, University of Massachusetts

-Sexualities Section. Chair: Barry D. Adam, University of Windsor

-Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS). President: Nancy Naples, University of Connecticutt

-Pacific Sociological Association. GLBT Committee.



2003-2004 Caucus Leadership

Chair, Diane S. Illig. Salisbury University.

Treasurer, Michael Handel. University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Listserv Administrator, Sarah Wilcox. Kent University.





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