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A critical evaluation of the law on same-sex marriage

Routledge, Glenn James (2015) A critical evaluation of the law on same-sex marriage. Masters thesis (LLM), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

The aim of this research is to identify why LGBTQ people are prohibited from the institution of Marriage and to critically plot the development of same-sex marriage and legally recognised same-sex partnerships within England and Wales. An examination of why LGBTQ people are statute barred from the established act of Marriage but have only been able to enter into a formal legal partnership (CPA 2004) inferred as second-class in comparison to the status of Marriage will be explored at length. Equality is a central theme throughout, but specifically I discuss the effect of same-sex partnership legislation along with an examination of the development of a system to recognise actual same-sex marriage. The institution of Marriage, the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013 are all separate institutions, and I will discuss their relationship to each other, along with a comparison of other jurisdictions with same-sex provisions currently in operation. The complexities in the conflict of rights between religion and sexuality are explained as a recurring theme in same-sex recognised partnerships. An overview of both the positives and inadequacies of same-sex marriage legislation is presented and an explanation what just what it is intended to provide, evaluating whether this mirrors existing opposite-sex marriage legislation. To conclude, I draw on the discussion of ‘equal’ but ‘different’ marriage for LGBTQ people and suggest an alternative form of universal equality based marriage for everyone. Finally discussing the introduction and commencement of the MSSCA 2013. The research was conducted between 2012 to the start of 2014 and is based upon primary and secondary sources obtained from academic books, legal journals, databases and UK Government authorities. Supplemental information from non-governmental organisations and other media resources are included to illustrate issues or events where appropriate.

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