Impact of Civil Marriage Recognition for Long-Term Same-Sex Couples

Ellen D.B. Riggle, Robert E. Wickham, Sharon S. Rostosky, Esther D. Rothblum, Kimberly F. Balsam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many same-sex couples had already established long-term relationships prior to the availability of civil marriage rights in the USA. The impact and possible benefits of marriage and marriage recognition for long-term couples was tested using data from a sample of couple members: 307 in a civil marriage and 50 with no legal relationship status. The reported study was conducted prior to marriage recognition in all US states and tests the associations of marital status and living in a state that recognized civil marriages of same-sex couples with self-reports of positive and negative LGB (lesbian, gay, and bisexual) identity, social support, and daily discrimination. Dyadic regression analyses revealed that participants in a civil marriage reported higher levels of LGB identity centrality and support from partner. Residing in a state that recognized civil marriage was associated with lower levels of LGB identity concealment, a less difficult process accepting one’s LGB identity, and less vigilance and isolation. Results are discussed in terms of the benefits of long-term relationships and the impact of socio-historical context and marriage policy on same-sex relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-232
Number of pages10
JournalSexuality Research and Social Policy
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Keywords

  • Bisexual
  • Gay
  • Lesbian
  • Long-term relationships
  • Marriage
  • Minority stress
  • Same-sex marriage
  • Same-sex relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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