York professor examines question of same-sex marriages

In a recent report, sociology Prof. Anne-Marie Ambert, Faculty of Arts, questions whether or not same-sex marriage would devalue the institution of marriage. It is one of several key questions she explores in “Same-Sex Couples and Same-Sex-Parent Families: Relationships, Parenting, and Issues Of Marriage”, released by the Vanier Institute of the Family.

Research on same-sex couples and same-sex parents is, as yet, “embryonic”, Ambert says. She believes that whatever findings do exist should be made available to parliamentarians and other Canadians who are considering questions such as the rights and responsibilities of same-sex couples. In her report, she summarizes and assesses research on these topics:

  • demographic estimates of gay and lesbian couples
  • couple formation among homosexuals
  • conjugal relationships among lesbians and gays
  • conflict within lesbian and gay relations
  • fidelity within same-sex unions
  • same-sex couples raising children
  • children growing up with same-sex parents

According to the 2001 Canadian census, only 0.5% of all couples sharing a household are same-sex couples, but Ambert believes that, in reality, the proportion is likely somewhat higher. She says at least 3,000 same-sex couples are raising children in Canada today.

For more details about her report, visit http://www.vifamily.ca/PR/releases/samsexpr.htm.