Same-Sex Weddings

Rituals associated with life course transitions are important for families’ well-being. They help families make sense of changing family membership, create identity, and encourage positive emotional bonds. Rituals also provide an important opportunity for others to emotionally and legally recognize and affirm families. A small number of countries (e.g., Belgium, Canada, and South Africa) have legalized same-sex marriage, and in June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that existing state-level restrictions were unconstitutional. Thus, weddings are now a ritual more available to same-sex couples than in the past. However, given the heteronormative (promotion of a “correct” way to live through family tradition, gender conventionality, and heterosexuality) nature of weddings and marriage, questions arise about what kind of weddings same-sex couples have, whether their experiences are ...

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