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Celebrating the re-election of Barack Obama as a win for GLB equality or denouncing the focus on marriage rights as heteronormative misses the point. Both approaches obscure what actually happens in local sites where authority is exercised. Looking into the cracks and crevices of regulatory apparatuses generates a more complex picture. In examining contradictory rules on sex classification, for example, it becomes clear those contradictions often reflect different state projects, such as security, distribution, reproduction. Construing the election as a victory for gay rights or for homonormativity elevates grand concepts—marriage, the state—over the quotidian actions that regulate life.


This article was originally published in Theory & Event, Volume 16, Issue 1, 2013.



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