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Queer(y)ing Consummation: An Empirical Reflection on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 and the role of Consummation

Maine, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-0962-750X (2021). Queer(y)ing Consummation: An Empirical Reflection on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 and the role of Consummation. Child and Family Law Quarterly, 33(2), pp. 143-162.


Consummation and adultery were omitted from the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. This article explores the issue of consummation (in particular) and offers empirical evidence in support of reform. Assessing the functioning and role of relationship recognition to LGBTQ people, this article will assess the implications of the exclusion of consummation from same-sex marriage. It draws on semi-structured, in-depth interviews conducted with a group of 29 LGBTQ people following the 2013 legislation to argue that the current law contributes to a sexual hierarchy that maintains and privileges heteronormativity, and that this system should be reformed by either abolishing the consummation requirement or redefining it to include same-sex consummation, accommodating a wide range of sexual expression. Reforming marriage law to disestablish consummation's current role would contribute both to the ongoing transformation of marriage instigated by no-fault divorce and to the queering of marriage by deconstructing heteronormativity.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Consummation; Adultery; Marriage; Empirical Research; LGBTQ
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
K Law > K Law (General)
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
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