Journal Article

‘PRETENDED FAMILIES’ AND THE LOCAL STATE IN BRITAIN AND THE USA

CRAIG LIND

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 10, issue 2, pages 134-158
Published in print August 1996 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online August 1996 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/10.2.134
‘PRETENDED FAMILIES’ AND THE LOCAL STATE IN BRITAIN AND THE USA

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British and American local governments are involved in the legal regulation of the family. While the local state in both jurisdictions has no obvious role in defining the ‘family’ each is, by gradual proactive redefinition, affecting social and legal perceptions of this fundamental social unit. This trend is most noticeable in the encroaching development of legitimate lesbian and gay (‘pretended’) families, particularly in an increasing number of American local jurisdictions. This article sets out to explore the different legal and constitutional cultures that operate in the UK and the USA which may dictate the contribution that the local state is able to make in this process of redefinition. It asserts that the centralist ideology operating in the UK is responsible for impeding the kind of progress in evidence in the USA. That progress is reflected not only in the myriad local statutes that recognise lesbian and gay relationships, but also in the extent of the national debate on the issue of lesbian and gay marriage.

‘A local authority shall not… promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.’

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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