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Rights for same-sex couples and public attitudes toward gays and lesbians in Europe


Abou-Chadi, Tarik; Finnigan, Ryan (2019). Rights for same-sex couples and public attitudes toward gays and lesbians in Europe. Comparative Political Studies, 52(6):868-895.

Abstract

This article investigates how changes in same-sex rights affect attitudes toward homosexuality. We argue that different same-sex relationship policies vary in their impact. Whereas registered partnership laws construct a distinct target population that receives new benefits, marriage equality sends an unambiguously positive signal and reduces the perceived group difference through inclusion into existing rights. As a consequence, marriage equality should have a positive effect on attitudes toward homosexuality, whereas partnership laws should have much less positive effects and could even lead to backlash among some groups. Combining data from eight waves of the European Social Survey with data on legislation, we analyze the effects of same-sex marriage, registered partnerships, and marriage bans on attitudes toward gays and lesbians. Marriage has a positive effect, bans and registered partnerships have a negative effect. Legalized partnership is especially associated with significantly more negative attitudes among nonreligious and less educated people.

Abstract

This article investigates how changes in same-sex rights affect attitudes toward homosexuality. We argue that different same-sex relationship policies vary in their impact. Whereas registered partnership laws construct a distinct target population that receives new benefits, marriage equality sends an unambiguously positive signal and reduces the perceived group difference through inclusion into existing rights. As a consequence, marriage equality should have a positive effect on attitudes toward homosexuality, whereas partnership laws should have much less positive effects and could even lead to backlash among some groups. Combining data from eight waves of the European Social Survey with data on legislation, we analyze the effects of same-sex marriage, registered partnerships, and marriage bans on attitudes toward gays and lesbians. Marriage has a positive effect, bans and registered partnerships have a negative effect. Legalized partnership is especially associated with significantly more negative attitudes among nonreligious and less educated people.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:sociology and political science, LGBT rights, public opinion
Language:English
Date:May 2019
Deposited On:08 May 2019 12:49
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:34
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0010-4140
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0010414018797947

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