Same-Sex Couples’ Decisions and Experiences of Marriage in the Context of Minority Stress: Interviews From a Population-Based Longitudinal Study

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the emerging context of marriage equality, it is important to explore the reasons for and experience of marriage for long-term same-sex couples, including the role of minority stress. In Wave 3 of the population-based, longitudinal CUPPLES Study we interviewed 21 long-term same-sex couples (14 female, 7 male) who resided in 12 different states and who were legally married. Couple members ranged in age from 37 to 84 and reported being together as a couple from 15 to 41 years. Seven couples lived in states that did not recognize their marriage at the time of the interview. Legal protection and social validation emerged as the two primary domains that captured couples’ lived experiences of marriage. Minority stress experiences emerged in the narratives in the context of couples’ long-term commitment, the availability of civil marriage, and couples’ participation in activist efforts on behalf of marriage equality for themselves and others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1019-1040
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Volume63
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.

Keywords

  • Gay male couples
  • legal protection
  • lesbian couples
  • marriage
  • minority stress
  • same-sex couple relationships
  • same-sex couples
  • same-sex marriage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • General Psychology

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