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Speaker(s): Professor M V Lee Badgett
Chair: Professor Craig Calhoun

Recorded on 26 November 2012 at New Theatre, East Building

Same-sex couples on four continents—including eleven countries and six American states—can now legally marry. The experiences of these countries allow a glimpse into the future about what will happen if and when the UK opens marriage to same-sex couples. Will gay people change marriage? Will marriage change lesbian, gay, and bisexual people? Is the world moving too quickly to recognize same-sex couples, or should we have different legal institutions for same-sex couples? With one side worried about the end of civilization and the other side scratching their heads in bewilderment, it is difficult to see room for reasoned discussion. Badgett bridges that gap by drawing on data, interviews, and stories from actual American and Dutch couples and from other countries.

M. V. Lee Badgett is a professor of economics and director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also the research director of the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy at UCLA. Her most recent book, When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage (NYU Press, 2009), focuses on the U.S. and European experiences with marriage equality for same-sex couples. Professor Badgett has testified on her work before Congress and many state legislatures, and she was an expert witness in California’s Prop 8 trial. In 2008, Curve Magazine named her one of the twenty most powerful lesbians in academia. Badgett received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California-Berkeley in 1990, and has a BA in economics from the University of Chicago (1982).

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