Odd Couples

A History of Gay Marriage in Scandinavia

Jens Rydström

Odd Couples

Jens Rydström

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

246 pages | 10 halftones | 6 1/2 x 9 1/2 | © 2011
Paper $34.95 ISBN: 9789052603810 Published November 2011 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

The concept of marriage as a union of a man and a woman was fundamentally challenged by the introduction of registered partnership in Denmark in 1989. Odd Couples is the first comprehensive history of registered partnership and gay marriage in Scandinavia. It traces the origins of laws which initially were extremely controversial—inside and outside the gay community—but have now gained broad popular and political support, as well as the positive effects and risks involved in state recognition of lesbian and gay couples.  Through a comparison of how these laws have been received and practiced in all of the Scandinavian countries, including Greenland and the Faroe Islands, the author presents a nuanced study of a fascinating political process that began in the 1960s and continues to change the way we understand family, sexuality and nation.


Chapter One: The road to registered partnership
Chapter Two: Is marriage what we want?
Chapter Three: Gay marriage in mainstream politics
Chapter Four: Implementation
Chapter Five: Gender and marriage statistics
Chapter Six: The next step
Summary and conclusions

Appendix: Political parties and gay and lesbian rights groups in Scandinavia
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