Must Equal Mean Identical? Same-Sex Couples and Marriage

Robert Leckey

McGill University - Faculty of Law

July 4, 2013

(2014) 10:1 International Journal of Law in Context 5-25

This paper pushes against the successful rhetoric of formal equality by which same-sex couples are the same as different-sex couples and opening existing regimes of marriage to them best recognizes their equal moral worth. Drawing on social-science research that indicates differences in the economic organization of same-sex couples, the paper explores the possibility that a different marriage regime for the spouses’ reciprocal duties might combine recognition of their equal moral worth with sensitivity to their needs. The study sharpens the understanding of contemporary investments in marriage law for everyone and offers a better justification for formal equality: same-sex couples may be treated identically to different-sex couples not because they are the same, but despite their differences.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 48

Keywords: same-sex marriage, equality, empirical research, marriage, formal equality

JEL Classification: K19

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Date posted: September 28, 2013 ; Last revised: January 21, 2014

Suggested Citation

Leckey, Robert, Must Equal Mean Identical? Same-Sex Couples and Marriage (July 4, 2013). (2014) 10:1 International Journal of Law in Context 5-25. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2332062

Contact Information

Robert Leckey (Contact Author)
McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )
3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
514-398-4148 (Phone)
514-398-4659 (Fax)
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