NEW YORK — Unmarried same-sex couples in Canada are feeling pressure to tie the knot, according to a recent study published in the Canadian Review of Sociology that examined their experiences, HealthCanal reports.
Researchers from UBC’s Department of Sociology interviewed 22 people in same-sex common-law relationships. The goal was to learn how the Civil Marriage Act of 2005, which granted same-sex couples the right to marry, affected the way they thought about their relationship. The findings were presented in a recent issue of the Canadian Review of Sociology.
“It was surprising how prominent marriage became in participants’ lives,” said Katherine Lyon, who co-authored the study with Hélène Frohard-Dourlent. “Suddenly more people wanted to talk to them about their relationship and getting married.”
Because same-sex couples were previously unable to marry, many LGBT people had developed relationship models outside the status quo. With the legalization of same-sex marriage, LGBT couples face new pressures to conform to societal norms, HealthCanal reports.
Many people reported feeling that their relationship would garner legitimacy through marriage, especially in contexts where they still encounter prejudice. This perception shows that marriage remains the relationship pinnacle in Canadian society, even as cohabitation rates increase. Still, participants chose not to marry for many reasons, including opposition to the institution, HealthCanal reports.