Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1340607
 
 

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Marriage, Tort, and Private Ordering: Rhetoric and Reality in LGBT Rights


John G. Culhane


Widener University - Delaware Campus

February 10, 2009

Chicago-Kent Law Review, Vol. 84, 2009
Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-09

Abstract:     
This article takes a critical, historical view of the LGBT rights movement in three related areas: marriage equality; injury to same-sex relationships in tort law; and the creation and enforcement of private contractual agreements between same-sex partners. The period surveyed covers the early 1970's through late 2008.

Through examination of case law, legislation and legislative history, and the increasing visibility of the LGBT community during the period in question, Marriage, Tort and Private Ordering: Rhetoric and Reality in LGBT Rights argues that, during the 1970's, the socially enforced invisibility of gay lives and relationships translated into an inability to regard "gay marriage" as anything but an oxymoron. Moreover, inasmuch as marriage was also seen as required for relationship validity, tort claims also met with failure when the intimate lives of gay and lesbian couples came into view. Over time, though, both visibility and the vocabulary needed to describe it have moved same-sex couples ever closer to formal, legal equality. Private arrangements by same-sex couples, by contrast, have long enjoyed greater recognition, in part because courts were been able to focus on economic understandings and the law of contract.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 45

Keywords: same-sex couples, gay marriage, same-sex marriage, gay rights, LGBT rights, tort law, marriage, contracts, lesbian couples

JEL Classification: K1, K13, K12

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Date posted: February 11, 2009 ; Last revised: March 18, 2010

Suggested Citation

Culhane, John G., Marriage, Tort, and Private Ordering: Rhetoric and Reality in LGBT Rights (February 10, 2009). Chicago-Kent Law Review, Vol. 84, 2009; Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-09. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1340607

Contact Information

John G. Culhane (Contact Author)
Widener University - Delaware Campus ( email )
PO Box 7474
Wilmington, DE 19803
United States
(302) 477-2107 (Phone)
(302) 477-2255 (Fax)
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