The Value of Marriage
This chapter examines why gay couples choose to marry and what we can learn from that process about the meaning of marriage. Drawing on interviews with same-sex couples from the Netherlands, it analyzes the actual personal choices made by couples with regards to marriage. It first considers the views of gay couples about the value of marriage, barriers to marriage, and the processes of accepting or avoiding those barriers. It then addresses questions such as whether gay couples think about marriage and marrying in the same way that heterosexual couples do, or whether same-sex couples really want and need to be able to marry. Finally, it discusses the relevance of the experiences of Dutch gay couples to the debate over same-sex marriage in the United States.
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