Edited by Chris Ashford and Alexander Maine
Chapter 3: Formal recognition of adult relationships and legal gender in a comparative perspective
This chapter looks at the recognition of families outside of marriage, and especially same sex couples. In many jurisdictions this (also) happened through the introduction of registered partnerships. These regimes were created as either functional equivalents of or alternatives to marriage, and it is this function that then determined their fate in most jurisdictions when marriage was later opened up to same sex couples. England and Wales was an exception in this, and is looked at more closely. The chapter then argues that the focus on gender for relationship recognition is unnecessary and indeed counterproductive, particularly now that jurisdictions are beginning to move beyond the binary for legal gender. The chapter concludes that relationship recognition needs be rethought beyond the binary, beyond conjugality and beyond coupledom.
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