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Document Type

Essay

Abstract

Amidst the political and legal storm surrounding the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's recent groundbreaking decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which extends marriage rights to same- sex couples in Massachusetts, this Essay seeks to maintain the debate questioning the supremacy of marriage as the ideal family unit. The Essay presents examples of the subordinating effects that marriage laws sometimes have on women, people of color, and the poor; and it explores specific problematic possibilities that the new application of marriage laws may hold for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. The Essay contends that marriage, although providing significant gains for some, is not a panacea. The Essay then proposes a progressive vision for the separation of certain important benefits front their traditional association with marriage and for the diversification of forms of partnership and household recognition.

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