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
Date Written: July 4, 2013
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: Suggested Citation