Recognizing Ourselves: Ceremonies of Lesbian and Gay Commitment

By Ellen Lewin | Go to book overview

NOTES

Prologue
1.
The days of riots that took place after a police raid at Greenwich Village's Stonewall Inn on June 27, 1969, are generally credited as having signaled the start of the gay and lesbian liberation movement in the United States. See D'Emilio 1983; Duberman 1993; Kennedy and Davis 1993.
2.
Hole and Levine 1971.
3.
Rich 1980.
4.
Echols 1989; Herman 1996; Polikoff 1993.
5.
Diamant 1985.
6.
According to Anita Diamant, the chuppah, a canopy supported by four poles under which the couple stands during the wedding ritual, symbolizes the home and the tents of the Jewish people's nomadic ancestors (among other things). This temporary structure is open on four sides to invoke the tent of Abraham, whose legendary hospitality was symbolized by the doors on all four sides of his home. Many couples use a tallith, a prayer shawl, the ritual fringes of which are regarded as talismans against evil spirits. The chuppah is thus also understood as a sign of God's presence at the wedding and in the home to be established ( Diamant 1985:91-93).

The ketubah (pl., ketubot) was originally a legal contract, written in Aramaic (the legal language of Talmudic law) and signed by two witnesses, that attested to the fact that the groom had "acquired" the bride and agreed to support her. It was given to the bride and provided her with written proof of her rights and her husband's obligations to her, and thus protected her from capricious divorce. More modern ketubot may be written to express the couple's desire to establish a Jewish home or to emphasize their intention to have a marriage based on equality and mutuality. Although a wide range of boilerplate ketubot, in which individual names and dates are inserted, can be purchased (including some for same-sex unions), many couples have them made to order by artists, sometimes at considerable expense ( Diamant 1985:71-81).

7.
When, just the week before the ceremony, I was called to the Federal Building for jury duty, I refused to use the upcoming event as a way to avoid service, despite

-253-

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Recognizing Ourselves: Ceremonies of Lesbian and Gay Commitment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Between Men ∼ Between Women Lesbian and Gay Studies v
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Prologue xv
  • 1 - Equal Rites 1
  • 2 - Heroes in Our Own Dramas 29
  • 3 - Old Symbols, New Traditions 47
  • 4 - This Circle of Family 87
  • 5 - Communities Interwoven 123
  • 6 - The Real Thing 159
  • 7 - Making a Statement 193
  • 8 - Mixed Messages 235
  • Notes 253
  • References 269
  • Index 279
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