'Marriage is More than Just a Piece of Paper: Feminist Critiques of Same Sex Marriage

Susan B. Boyd

University of British Columbia Faculty of Law


(2013) 8:2 National Taiwan University Law Review 263-298

This article reviews feminist critiques of same sex marriage and analyzes how marriage as a socio-legal institution relates to inequality based on factors such as sex, race and class. The article first identifies how the legalization of same sex marriage can be viewed as a positive step in the quest for equality and recognition of lesbians and gay men. It then describes the legal and statistical trends in relation to marriage in Canada, as one of the first countries to legalize same sex marriage. The heart of the article discusses the key feminist critiques of both marriage and same sex marriage, drawing on an international survey of primarily English language literature. It considers why these critiques have been understated in the debates on same sex marriage and reviews empirical studies on the views of lesbians and gay men on marriage. While acknowledging that legal marriage can offer important rights to some couples, the conclusion suggests alternatives to placing marriage at the center of the lesbian and gay movement for equality and recognition.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

Keywords: Marriage, Same Sex Relationships, Equality, Feminism, Recognition, Redistribution

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Date posted: November 1, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Boyd, Susan B., 'Marriage is More than Just a Piece of Paper: Feminist Critiques of Same Sex Marriage (2013). (2013) 8:2 National Taiwan University Law Review 263-298. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2347607

Contact Information

Susan Barbara Boyd (Contact Author)
University of British Columbia Faculty of Law ( email )
1822 East Mall
Vancouver V6T 1Z1, British Columbia V6T 1Z1
604-822-6459 (Phone)
604-822-8108 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ubc.ca/faculty/Boyd/index.html
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