This essay examines the U.S. gay marriage debates that have occurred over the past decade. In the mid-to-late 1990s, the gay marriage debates turned largely on the demonisation of sex (that is, sexual expression in general and same-sex activity especially) and the consequent need to regulate or normalise it through marriage. Since September 11 [,2001], the terms of this debate have intensified as the country has come to re-examine its understanding of social and political security. This larger context has shaped the gay marriage debate so that, on the one hand, sex outside of marriage has been figured as a form of domestic terrorism, while, on the other hand, marriage itself has become a figure for national security. It is within the framework of this heightened debate that, I believe, same-sex marriage will be increasingly politically recognised within the next several years.