The American and French Debate about Domestic Partnerships and Same-Sex Marriages

TitleThe American and French Debate about Domestic Partnerships and Same-Sex Marriages
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsKelly, Alicia
Academic DepartmentPolitical Science
Thesis AdvisorSahr, Robert
DegreeBachelor of Arts in International Studies in Political Science
Number of Pages26
Date Published05/2000
UniversityOregon State University
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
KeywordsDomestic Partnerships, Fance, federal laws, marriage, Same-Sex Marriages, state laws, United States

Domestic partnerships and same-sex marriages are issues of emerging legal controversy that remain unsettled in both the United States and France. Some might suggest that due to Roman Catholic influence, the French would be less likely to accept formal same-sex marriages than the United States. Others would contend that the United States, with its diverse population, would be the first to accept formal same-sex domestic partnerships and marriages. My goal in writing this thesis is to describe the debates regarding domestic partnerships and same-sex marriages in the United States and France, to allow readers to formulate their own opinions regarding these two issues.
My research found that there currently are no active legislation regarding same-sex marriages at the national-government level in the United States, hut a number of states have taken action, either in favor or opposition. At the national level in the United States, the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act allows individual states to pass legislation to prohibit recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states. More recently, the State of Vermont granted recognition to domestic partnerships, and several other states have granted partial recognition to this union. At this time France has no active legislative proposals about domestic partnerships or same-sex marriages. A civil solidarity pact (PACS) was passed in 1999 and allows partnerships to exist and receive many of the same benefits as married couples do, except without the formal act of marriage.
There are many differences and similarities between the United States and France, yet no matter what happens with these controversial laws the issue of what "marriage" is will remain a core issue in both countries.