Marriage and the Data on Same-Sex Couples

29 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2012 Last revised: 23 Sep 2017

See all articles by Robert Leckey

Robert Leckey

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 7, 2015


With analytical and methodological aims, this paper raises the difficulties of studying how well the financial frameworks governing marriage and divorce might serve the catchment group of same-sex couples to whom they are henceforth available. It calls for disaggregating the legal content of marriage for the purposes of analysis. By reference to the empirical social science, it then sets out the basis for challenging the assumption that access to marriage on the existing terms best remedies same-sex couples’ long-time legal neglect. But crucial methodological difficulties arise when looking to research in order to assess the fitness of existing marriage law for same-sex couples. The available data do not speak to key elements of marriage law. Underscoring the limits of social science research, the paper draws out the role of justice and identity claims in marriage law.

Keywords: same-sex marriage, gay men and lesbians, equality, empirical research, civil partnership

JEL Classification: K1, K19, K30

Suggested Citation

Leckey, Robert, Marriage and the Data on Same-Sex Couples (July 7, 2015). In Susan Millns & Simone Wong, eds., Wealth and Poverty in Close Personal Relationships: Money Matters (London: Routledge, 2017) 101–117.. Available at SSRN: or

Robert Leckey (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

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