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The same-sex couple is perhaps perceived as the most threatening non-traditional family arrangement. Experts have written entire books on the subject of why some people perceive homosexuality to be a threat to society in general and to the family in particular. Suffice it to say that there are significant religious and cultural bases behind the fear and misunderstanding that surround the subject, and it is beyond the scope of this Note to address those cultural and religious arguments. This Note proceeds from the premise that homosexuality in humankind is as much a fact of life as heterosexuality, and moves on to address the issue of same-sex couples' rights from an equality of treatment perspective.

While there have been various attempts over the last twenty years or so to obtain certain quasi-marital rights for same-sex couples, the recently developed domestic partnership initiatives have been the most successful option for obtaining these rights. As such, this Note will focus on domestic partnership initiatives in light of other less successful attempts to gain quasi-marital rights for samesex couples. Part II will discuss the need for the approach embodied in domestic partnership initiatives, and examine the weaknesses of other options that same-sex couples have for achieving equal treatment. Part II then explains why domestic partnership initiatives are the currently favored option among same-sex couples for achieving equal treatment under the law, and for increasing societal recognition and understanding of same-sex relationships. Part III will discuss existing domestic partnership initiatives, both at the municipal and corporate level. This section will compare the basic requirements of these initiatives, assess their impact, and discern any particular strengths and weaknesses. Finally, Part IV extracts the most effective aspects of the domestic partnership initiatives currently in place, and presents them as a guide for other cities and companies that may decide to implement domestic partnership initiatives in the future.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
7 Sep 2022
2.26 MB



  • Subject
    • Domestic Law

    • Sexuality and Sexual Orientation

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Third World Law Journal

  • Volume
    • 13

  • Issue
    • 2

  • Pagination
    • 317

  • Date submitted

    7 September 2022