Supreme Courts Decision and Deviancy Theory


This is an excellent opportunity to see the operation of the theoretical framwork for studying deviance that is presented in this class. This is the end of a long process of claims making, rule breaking and rule making. So we are lucky to be studying deviance at such an important dime in American history. Today the Supreme Court said that laws that ban gay marriage are unconstitutional. Married gay people now qualify for a wide range of federal benefits that come with being married, principally significant tax and social security benefits. This is one element in the process of reality construction.We are observing the process by which a designation of deviance is being dismantled in law. What was once deviant, being gay, is slowly becoming “normal” at the formal level of social rules, federal law. We also see states revising their laws to provide for gay marriage, gay adoption, and protections against housing and workplace discrimination.We have seen public opinion polls that show a majority of Americans now accept homosexuals in a wide range of social relationships. The changes in the informal system of social rules are also occurring.Claims-makers who support gay rights were active in changing minds through publicity, protests, agitating for legal change and other forms of framing the issue of sexuality as a human rights issue. They seem to be winning against the old school rule creators and rule enforcers who were successful for many centuries in maintaining deviant status for homosexuals. Now a new era of rule creators and rule enforcers is emerging. President Obama has instructed the Internal Revenue Service to re-write its rules to accommodate the new construction of reality that the Supreme Court has legitimated.

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