Must Equal Mean Identical? Same-Sex Couples and Marriage

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

21 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2013 Last revised: 11 Oct 2016

Robert Leckey

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 4, 2013

Abstract

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.

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

JEL Classification: K19

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2332062

Robert Leckey (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
Canada
514-398-4148 (Phone)
514-398-4659 (Fax)

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