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Legalizing LGBT FamiliesHow the Law Shapes Parenthood$
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Amanda K. Baumle and D'Lane R. Compton

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479857647

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479857647.001.0001

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Locating Legality

Locating Legality

(p.61) 3 Locating Legality
Legalizing LGBT Families

Amanda K. Baumle

D’Lane R. Compton

NYU Press

In order to more closely examine the process of constructing legality for LGBT parents, the authors highlight sources of legal information in this chapter. An important aspect to understanding LGBT parents’ legal consciousness involves examining the sources from which they receive cultural messages about the law as it pertains to their families. Some participants described gaining legal knowledge through traditional channels, such as consulting attorneys or legislation, whereas others relied upon social networks, media, movies, books, or the Internet. The authors explore the manner in which learning about the law varies for LGBT parents across individual characteristics, as well as legal context. Legal context can affect whether individuals even pursue information about the law; some participants living in legally positive states articulated an assumption that they had legal rights, and some living in legally negative states an assumption that rights were absent. For LGBT parents, whether and how they gain information about the law plays an important role in how they then choose to interact with formal and informal law in their lives.

Keywords:   sources of legal information, attorneys, social networks, Internet

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