Individuals, Couples, and Social Networks
Chapter Four. Same-sex Marriage, Couples, and Families
As I have surveyed and interviewed GLBT people and same-sex couples about same-sex marriage over the past decade, one important aspect of their lives seems to always enter the picture: family. As discussed in Chapter 2, GLBT people perceive same-sex marriage as a means to better protect their family unit and to gain greater relationship recognition from their family-of-orign. In Chapter 3, married and engaged same-sex couples mentioned greater protection for their family unit and greater recognition for their relationship from their family-of-origin as attractions to marriage. Yet, 41% of the married or engaged same-sex couples discussed in Chapter 3 also listed objections from family-of-origin members as an obstacle to getting married. Same-sex couples who have chosen to not marry, as discussed in Chapter 3, also listed objections or resistence from family-of-origin members as a reason to not marry. Further, some same-sex couples who do not want to marry now listed the ability to make having and protecting a family easier as a reason to possibily consider marriage in the future. Thus, I have consistently found that same-sex marriage and family, either a family unit created by the couple or families-of-origin, are intertwined.
While many studies have examined a variety of characteristics and experiences of same-sex couples and their families (see Goldberg, 2010), relatively few studies have focused specifically on same-sex marriage and families. Even fewer studies have examined same-sex marriage and families from a Communication Studies perspective. Research examining the experiences of same-sex couples and their family...
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