Volume 24, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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This paper investigates conflicting narratives available to lesbian and gay couples as a result of marriage and civil partnership. Whereas marginalisation may have made stories of exclusion particularly resonant for same-sex couples, marriage and civil partnership offer scope for new stories around inclusion and equality. Drawing on empirical research with married and civil partner same-sex couples in the UK, US and Canada, the paper contrasts couples’ atrocity stories with new stories about acceptance and inclusion. The paper argues that these new stories should be seen as triumph stories that point towards a tangible impact arising from marriage equality and civil partnership. However, the presence of atrocity stories alongside these triumph stories provides evidence of a more limited policy impact. In conclusion, the paper highlights the relevance of atrocity stories in an emerging area of public policy, as well as the likelihood of triumph stories being relevant in other contexts.


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