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The Essential Ellen Willis$
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Ellen Willis and Nona Willis Aronowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816681204

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816681204.001.0001

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The Last Unmarried Person in America

The Last Unmarried Person in America

(p.209) The Last Unmarried Person in America
The Essential Ellen Willis

Nona Willis Aronowitz

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter focuses on the debate over homosexual marriage. It examines two revolutionary clauses of the National Family Security Act that cleared the way toward making a reality of what had until then been an impossible dream: universal marriage. The first is the child purity provision, popularly known as the Down-There Amendment, which prevents premarital sex by allowing parents to marry a child to a suitable mate as soon as he or she shows signs of prurient interests. The second—the most controversial aspect of the bill—is the legalization of homosexual marriage, which split the pro-family movement into two camps: the purists, who insisted that homosexuality was a sin, and the pragmatists, who pointed out that denying homosexuals the sacrament of marriage discouraged their impulses toward decent respectability and played into the hands of feminists who claimed that women didn’t really want to get married anyway.

Keywords:   homosexual marriage, National Family Security Act, universal marriage, Down-There Amendment, premarital sex, homosexuality, homosexuals, feminists, women

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