Same-sex Marriage and Family (August 3)
•Compare and contrast between gay/lesbian & heterosexual
•Reading on how to negotiate similar to process of legalization of gay marriage (gradual change to
•Transform the definition of marriage and family (much more flexible in the process)
•A long process to gain rights
I.New understanding of marriage: family as a new practice (functional aspect => emotional
II.Universal human rights
I.Religious background (moral issues)
II.Functional reasons: reproduction for the next generation; children can’t stay with biological
•In general, diverse forms are getting more acceptable: it all depends on individual’s choice, and norms
are not as rigid as in the past
•However, this is within a Canadian context: some other cultures are still in the process of accepting
•Political fights against this was prevalent, but not it has become legalized, and the government now
focuses more on how to build new forms of emotional bound
•Therefore, the people who were once regarded as deviant are now recognized not only legally but also
Some facts of same-sex unions
•The statistics may not be accurate because it’s based on self-report, and some gays/lesbians still don’t
want to report for many personal reasons
•Gates and Sanders (2002) estimate that from 2% to an upper limit of 5% of men are gay and from 1%
to 3.5% of women are lesbian. This closely matches the 4% in the Laumann et al. study.
•Around 0.5% of married and cohabitating couples are homosexual (Statistics Canada, 2002), and the
proportion is very likely to be underestimated because only 1/3 self-reports as such.
•In Canada, the 2001 census revealed that 15% of households headed by lesbian couples had children
versus 3% among male same-sex households (Statistics Canada, 2002).
The relationship between same-sex partners (Ambert, 2005)
•Gender-role is still much based on patriarchic ideology, which causes the conflict between husband
• In general, lesbian/gay couples report a more egalitarian division of labor than married couples
•Kurdek found that gay couples reported more autonomy from each other in terms of activities,
friendships, and decision-making than married dyads.