Mapping Gender and Social Norms in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Marriage

Suzanne A. Kim, Mapping Gender and Social Norms in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Marriage, Symposium: Rutgers Celebrates Beijing +20: Gender Equality on the 20th Anniversary of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995), 38 Women's Rts. L. Rep. 1 (2016).

7 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2016

See all articles by Suzanne A. Kim

Suzanne A. Kim

Rutgers School of Law - Newark

Date Written: December 28, 2016

Abstract

The recent decision in Obergefell v. Hodges marks an historic and groundbreaking change in the legal treatment of same-sex couples. Whether this change in the constitutional law of marriage translates into comprehensive and robust non-discrimination legal regimes more generally for sexual minorities and gender nonconforming individuals and support of nonmarital families remains to be seen, but, there is no doubt that access to marriage, whether one wants to marry or not, is a critical civil rights victory.

This historic legal change also signals, however, an opportunity for researchers to consider the impacts and practice of marriage on a social level. I discuss some key aspects of this opportunity, drawn from a forthcoming book project. Socio-legal studies is predicated on an assumption that the legal and the social inform one another to varying degrees, that, indeed, these domains take turns shaping one another. In the context of that stated assumption, however, we know very little about the relationship between social practice and formal law with regard to same-sex marriage, even though by the time the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Obergefell, 37 states plus the District of Columbia granted marriage rights to same-sex couples and over 252,000 same-sex couples had gotten married in this country.

We have, with nationwide marriage access to same-sex couples, an unprecedented opportunity to disentangle the relationship between formal law, gender norms, and marriage. This developing area of inquiry necessarily builds on previous work that has examined social aspects of marriage in the United States among different-sex couples and research pertaining to the daily lives of nonmarital same-sex couples.

Keywords: SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, GENDER, FAMILY LAW, MARRIAGE, SOCIO-LEGAL, EQUALITY, CONSTITUTIONAL, SOCIAL NORMS

Suggested Citation

Kim, Suzanne A., Mapping Gender and Social Norms in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Marriage (December 28, 2016). Suzanne A. Kim, Mapping Gender and Social Norms in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Marriage, Symposium: Rutgers Celebrates Beijing +20: Gender Equality on the 20th Anniversary of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995), 38 Women's Rts. L. Rep. 1 (2016)., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2891055 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2891055

Suzanne A. Kim (Contact Author)

Rutgers School of Law - Newark ( email )

Newark, NJ
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
46
Abstract Views
466
PlumX Metrics