Same-sex couples: Legal complexities

Ramona Faith Oswald, Katherine A. Kuvalanka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In this article, the authors present a typology for organizing our current knowledge regarding same-sex couples in the United States who have and have not established legal ties between partners. This framework is complemented by a discussion of key rulings that define what is legally possible as well as the introduction of "legal consciousness," a construct for examining how perceptions of legal authority drive engagement with the legal system. Finally, the authors use their analysis to generate questions for future research and discuss policy and practice implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1051-1066
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Civil unions
  • Domestic partnerships
  • Legal consciousness
  • Legal status
  • Lesbian/gay
  • Same-sex couples
  • Same-sex marriage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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