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Duggan, L. (2008). Beyond Same-Sex Marriage. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 9(2):155-157.
  

(2008). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 9(2):155-157

Beyond Same-Sex Marriage

Lisa Duggan, Ph.D.

Introduction

A few weeks after September 11, 2001, I went with my ex-lover to register as domestic partners with the city of New York. We had never registered our relationship with any state agency during the 17 years that we had actually been partners. But we changed our minds nearly a year after we broke up, on September 11, as we searched for each other in the chaos of that day. I had spoken to her on the phone that morning but then lost phone service and all contact with her. She was teaching at Brooklyn Law School then, and I at New York University; we lived near each other only minutes from the Twin Towers. I didn't know where she was or how she would get home. I started to panic that she might have walked across the bridge right when the second tower fell. I imagined her hurt and me unable to find her or unable to convince a city worker or hospital employee that she was my next of kin still, though no longer my lover. I worried that her Helms voting mother in North Carolina might be able to take her away. When she finally came through my door late that evening, covered in grey dust and totally exhausted, we both grasped the significance of that term “next of kin” as we never had before. If anything happened to her, the importance of being recognized as the one most responsible, the one most concerned, arose in my mind then as an absolute emotional and practical imperative.

As

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