Same Sex Couples - Comparative Insights on Marriage and Cohabitation
Estefanía Vela Barba, Başak Başoğlu, Ayelet Blecher-Prigat, Toni Holness, Natalia Ramírez-Bustamante, Macarena Sáez, José María
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Until the end of the twentieth century marriage was the only union considered legitimate to form a family. Today more than 40 countries have granted rights to same sex couples, including at least 19 that have included same-sex marriage within their family law systems.1 Every day there is a new bill being discussed or a new claim being brought to court seeking formal recognition of same-sex couples or of families formed by individuals of the same sex.
This worldwide trend is creating new rights for individuals of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. In countries where marriage has been granted to same-sex couples, a whole new set of rules has emerged. Immigration regulations, tax statutes, inheritance rights, adoption, surrogacy, and presumption of paternity favoring the husband are some of the areas that have been deeply changed by same-sex marriage. These legal changes have benefited thousands of gays and lesbians who now have access to rights and benefits traditionally exclusive to the heterosexual married family.
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