The Symbolic Status of Same Sex Marriage

Frances Hamilton

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When the Civil Partnership Act 2004 ('CPA') was introduced in 2004 this was a major step forwards for same-sex couples. Despite offering near equalisation of rights with married couples, this piece argues that this was insufficient for those same-sex couples who favour same-sex marriage. This remains a current issue for jurisdictions which have not legalised same-sex marriage, including Northern Ireland and many European states. This piece argues that civil partnership is a useful concept allowing public mind-sets to adjust, en route to the legalisation of same-sex marriage. However, civil partnership remains tarred by the brush of 'separate but equal.' Aside from the rights granted by marriage itself, this article contains an important symbolical status and is necessary for the recognition of gays as equal citizens.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFamily Law
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


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