This edited collection provides a forum for rigorous analysis of the necessity for both legal and social change with regard to regulation of same-sex relationships and rainbow families, the status of civil partnership as a concept and the lived reality of equality for LGBTQ+ persons.

Twenty-eight jurisdictions worldwide have now legalised same-sex marriage and many others some level of civil partnership. In contrast other jurisdictions refuse to recognise or even criminalise same-sex relationships. At a Council of Europe level, there is no requirement for contracting states to legalise same-sex marriage. Whilst the Court of Justice of the European Union now requires contracting states to recognise same-sex marriages for the purpose of free movement and residency rights, unlike the US Supreme Court, it does not require EU Member States to legalise same-sex marriage. Law and Sociology scholars from five key jurisdictions (England and Wales, Italy, Australia, Canada, and the Republic of Ireland) examine the role of the Council of Europe, European Union and further international regimes. A balanced approach between the competing views of critically analytical rights based theorists and queer and feminist theorists interrogates the current international consensus in this fast moving area. The incrementalist theory whilst offering a methodology for future advances continues to be critiqued. All contributions from differing perspectives expose that even for those jurisdictions who have legalised same-sex marriage, still further and continuous work needs to be done.

The book will be of interest to students and scholars in the field of human rights, family and marriage law and gender studies.

chapter |7 pages


part 1|60 pages

The role of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Union in relation to the treatment of same-sex couples’ relationships

part 2|56 pages

Differing paths towards legalisation of same-sex marriage

chapter Chapter 4|20 pages

Marriage equality in Ireland

The politico-legal context*

chapter Chapter 5|18 pages

The aftermath of marriage equality in Australia

Religious freedom and LGBTQ+ non-discrimination

part 3|62 pages

Rainbow families

chapter Chapter 7|23 pages

The European Court of Human Rights and the notion of family life

A common European standard for the EU framework

chapter Chapter 9|19 pages

Same-sex relationships and the child law perspectives

Another child protection concern, or simply a new way of creating the modern family?

part 4|41 pages

The importance of civil partnership in an era of same-sex marriage

chapter Chapter 10|20 pages

Relationships with status

Civil partnership in an era of same-sex marriage

chapter Chapter 11|19 pages

The hierarchy of marriage and civil partnerships

Diversifying relationship recognition

part 5|22 pages

The heteronormative underpinnings of same-sex marriage

chapter Chapter 12|20 pages

Repackaged goods?

Interrogating the heteronormative underpinnings of marriage

part 6|61 pages

Consideration of the necessity of both social and legal change, and the interaction between them

chapter Chapter 13|19 pages

Why legal equality is not enough

The case of domestic violence and abuse in the relationships of LGBTQ+ people

chapter Chapter 14|20 pages

Incrementalism in same-sex marriage legalization

chapter |20 pages


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