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Equality for Same-Sex CouplesThe Legal Recognition of Gay Partnerships in Europe and the United States$
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Yuval Merin

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226520315

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226520339.001.0001

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The Changing Institution of Marriage and the Exclusion of Same-Sex Couples

The Changing Institution of Marriage and the Exclusion of Same-Sex Couples

(p.6) Chapter 2 The Changing Institution of Marriage and the Exclusion of Same-Sex Couples
Equality for Same-Sex Couples
University of Chicago Press

There have been radical changes in the concept of marriage, the way marriages are arranged (who has the power to make decisions about marriage), the motives behind marriage, and the degree of equality between the spouses. Current justifications for marriage and the perceived goals of the institution are based primarily on the assumption of mutual love between two people who come together on equal terms. Most discussions regarding same-sex marriage fail to take into account that, throughout most of history, the affinity between love and marriage was not viewed in causal terms; it is only relatively recently that love has become the commonly assumed basis for marriage and its primary justification. Thus, a discussion of the connections and tensions between love and marriage and a historical overview of the nature of heterosexual marriage, however brief, are imperative for an understanding of the current debate over same-sex marriage.

Keywords:   same-sex couples, same-sex marriage, mutual love, spouses, institution of marriage, social change

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