The Legalization of Same-Sex Couples in Europe: Legal Indicators and Demographic Rates

Patrick Festy , Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Clara Cortina, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

We analyze same-sex partnership and marriage in Europe, after their introduction in Denmark and their extension to a majority of countries. We use the LawsAndFamilies Database, which includes both data on legal developments in family laws and statistical data on same-sex couples marriage and registered partnership. On the period 1990–2017 for a large set of European countries, we determine annually various indicators of the content of the laws and crude rates of legal recognition for gay, lesbian and different-sex couples. We measure the impact of legal consequences attached to couples’ recognition on the frequency of same-sex marriage or registered partnering. We expect that the opening of parenting to same-sex couples would affect lesbian more than gay couples and result in more positive trends in women’s nuptiality. This comparative analysis is complemented by an analysis of more detailed data for some countries and by the use of external data to interpret the correlations.

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 Presented in Session 101. Singlehood and Relationships in the 21st Century