This Article will examine why so much is at stake in the political, social, and legal debate over same-gender marriage. It will not address the constitutional questions of whether there is a fundamental right to marry, although persuasive arguments have been advanced from both sides of the debate." This Article will focus on a more introspective view of the potential effects of legalizing same-gender marriage on the identities of gay men and lesbians in committed relationships and on the interaction between same-gender couples and society. Marriage would provide the integration sought by gay men and lesbians, but at the expense of significant social quandary. In Part I, this paper will dissect the meaning of marriage into its relational, traditional, and Christian aspects." Part II will explore the legal and constitutive qualities of same-gender marriage. Part III will discuss the impact of the law of marriage in its present form on the identities of gay men and lesbians, as they see themselves and as society views them. Part IV will look at how legalization of same-gender marriages might change the self-perception of gay couples, what legal benefits it would confer, and how the heterosexual majority might respond. This Article will conclude that the legalization of same-gender marriage is too big of a step and will suggest, instead, enactment of smaller benefits packages to mitigate economic and legal discrimination against same-gender couples, while society prepares for same-gender "marriage."
Linda S. Eckols,
The Marriage Mirage: The Personal and Social Indentity Implications of Same-Gendered Matrimony,
Mich. J. Gender & L.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjgl/vol5/iss2/5