Same-Sex Marriage

Researchers of same sex marriage and the law will not want to miss Same-Sex Marriage: A Selective Bibliography of the Legal Literature compiled by law librarian Paul Axel-Lute, Deputy Director of the Law Library at Rutgers School of Law, Newark. First published in September 2002, it is updated as of June 8, 2010 and has references to cases, articles, legislation, books, symposia and other resources on the Web. Axel- Lute includes references to articles that reflect varying points of view along with sites discussing same-sex marriage treatment in selected foreign jurisdictions. There are also sections on polygamy, parenting and tax issues.

On the subject of same-sex marriage, news reports state that Iceland’s parliament in a vote of 40 to 0 (with 14 not voting) changed the country’s marriage laws so that marriage is the legal union of two individuals and not only of a man and a woman. It ends the country’s system of registered partnerships for same-sex couples, meaning marriage will become their only option – as was always the case for opposite-sex couples. Iceland’s President must ratify the bill which seems likely. Polls suggest the marriage bill is extremely popular.

The Brooklyn Law Library has recently added several titles to its collection on the subject of same-sex marriage including:

When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage by M.V. Lee Badgett (Call #K699 .B33 2009). Chapters include Why marry?: the value of marriage — Forsaking all other options — The impact of gay marriage on heterosexuals — Something borrowed: trying marriage on — Something new: will marriage change gay people? — Marriage dissent in the gay community — Strange bedfellows: assessing alternatives to marriage — The pace of change : are we moving too fast?

What’s The Harm?: Does Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Really Harm Individuals, Families, or Society?, Lynn D. Wardle editor (Call #KF539 .W53 2008) Pt. I. Does legalizing same-sex marriage harm families and childrearing? — Pt. II. Does legalizing same-sex marriage harm responsible sexual behavior and procreation? — Pt. III. Does legalizing same-sex marriage harm the relationship and meaning of marriage? — Pt. IV. Does legalizing same-sex marriage harm basic human freedoms and institutions?

Beyond Straight and Gay Marriage: Valuing All Families under the Law by Nancy D. Polikoff (Call #KF538 .P65 2008). Chapters include The changing meaning of marriage — Gay rights and the conservative backlash — Redefining family — The right and the marriage movement — LGBT families and the marriage-equality movement — Countries where marriage matters less — Valuing all families — Domestic partner benefits for all families — Coping with illness: medical care and family and medical leave — When a relationship ends through dissolution or death: distributing assets and providing for children — Losing an economic provider: wrongful death, workers’ compensation, and social security

See also the Spring 2010 edition of BLS Notes to read Equal Access and the Right to Marry written by Nelson Tebbe, BLS Associate Professor of Law and former BLS Visiting Assistant Professor Deborah A. Widiss, where they offer a new constitutional framework for same sex marriage, a proposal they call Equal Access.