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‘A relationship is a relationship’: Individuals perceptions of whether lack of legal and societal recognition impacts upon same-sex relationships

Murphy, Jodie (2013) ‘A relationship is a relationship’: Individuals perceptions of whether lack of legal and societal recognition impacts upon same-sex relationships. University of Cumbria.

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Abstract

A qualitative study that explored individuals’ perceptions of how legal and social recognition impacted upon their committed same-sex relationships. Six individuals (3 females, 3 males) in same-sex relationships participated in semi-structured interviews. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was employed to identify themes within the data. Female participants’ discussed how prejudice affected their same-sex relationships and expressed a heteronormative view of marriage. Male participants’ discussed the impact societal views had upon their relationships and articulated the fear they felt in the face of stigma and discrimination. Both groups stated the importance of love in their relationships; defining their own sense of commitment and relationship values. The expressed perceptions lent tentative support to previous theorising in this area but raised additional issues that may benefit from further investigation.

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