Changes in legal knowledge across the transition to marriage equality

Brian G Ogolsky, Tekisha M Rice, J. Kale Monk, Ramona Faith Oswald

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The legal landscape of marriage has been linked with personal and relational outcomes, demonstrating an impact on individuals beyond merely dictating what they can and cannot do. Prior to the 2015 Obergefell vs. Hodges decision by the US Supreme Court, marriage for same-sex couples was governed by individual states. Even after the federal recognition of same-sex marriage, sociopolitical opposition led to questions about the permanence of marriage equality. Such considerable changes in marital policies are bound to affect individuals, yet we know little about what individuals know regarding their marital rights and how this knowledge might influence relational outcomes. In this chapter, we assessed changes in individuals’ legal knowledge before and after the federal legalization of same-sex marriage and whether legal knowledge was associated with relational outcomes. Participants were 545 individuals in same-sex and different-sex relationships. Legal knowledge was lower for individuals in same-sex relationships, declined over time for those in same-sex and different-sex relationships, and displayed uniform associations with relationship commitment among those in same-sex and different-sex relationships.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Social Science of Same-Sex Marriage
Subtitle of host publicationLGBT People and Their Relationships in the Era of Marriage Equality
EditorsAaron Hoy
ISBN (Electronic)9781003089995
ISBN (Print)9780367546502, 9780367546540
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Gender and Society


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