Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Shows Gay Couples Want Legal Rights, Regardless Of Marriage

Date:
June 1, 2009
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
New research shows that gay and lesbian couples are forming long-term, committed relationships, even in the absence of the right to marry. However, couples surveyed for the study overwhelmingly said they would get married if they could in order to secure legal rights -- such as retirement and health care benefits.

New research from North Carolina State University shows that gay and lesbian couples are forming long-term, committed relationships, even in the absence of the right to marry. However, couples surveyed for the study overwhelmingly said they would get married if they could in order to secure legal rights – such as retirement and healthcare benefits.

Related Articles


"Our study indicates that marriage is both more and less important to gay and lesbian couples in long-term relationships than was perhaps previously understood – more important in terms of the legal rights it conveys, but less important as a symbol of commitment," says study co-author Dr. Sinikka Elliott, an assistant professor of sociology and anthropology at NC State. "This research underscores the need for legal protections and rights for all couples."

The study found that, because these gay and lesbian couples could not marry in their state, there was no defining moment demarcating when they became "committed" in their own eyes or in the eyes of others. Instead, their commitment revealed itself over time, with different people having different ideas as to when a relationship became "committed." Elliott explains that this shows there are multiple ways that couples can form lasting, committed relationships outside the institution of marriage.

"The majority of the couples in the study said they would get married in order to gain legal rights," Elliott says, "but downplayed the symbolic value of marriage, because they were already in stable, committed relationships." One respondent in the study said, "What [our relationship] means to us, in our hearts and in our heads, I don't think it would be any different" if we got married.

However, the same respondent added that getting married would make life easier, explaining, "as it is now, we have to go outside to get medical power of attorney...and so for the legality of things, I would like to marry."

The study also notes that societal trends continue to transform the meaning of marriage and cohabitation, for straight and gay couples, and calls for additional research to be done to evaluate what commitment and marriage mean for people in all social groups, including heterosexual couples.

The study, "Commitment Without Marriage: Union Formation Among Long-Term Same-Sex Couples," was co-authored by Elliott, and researchers Corinne Reczek and Debra Umberson of the University of Texas at Austin. The study was published in the June issue of the Journal of Family Issues.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Reczek et al. Commitment Without Marriage: Union Formation Among Long-Term Same-Sex Couples. Journal of Family Issues, 2009; 30 (6): 738 DOI: 10.1177/0192513X09331574

Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Study Shows Gay Couples Want Legal Rights, Regardless Of Marriage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090601092145.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2009, June 1). Study Shows Gay Couples Want Legal Rights, Regardless Of Marriage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090601092145.htm
North Carolina State University. "Study Shows Gay Couples Want Legal Rights, Regardless Of Marriage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090601092145.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

Newsy (Mar. 30, 2015) — In 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled Japan could no longer engage in whaling in the Antarctic, but Japan has plans to return this year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lights out for Earth Hour

Lights out for Earth Hour

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 29, 2015) — Landmarks in cities around the globe turn off their lights to mark Earth Hour. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins