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Examining Communication about Marriage Amendments: Same-Sex Couples and Their Extended Social Networks


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Pamela J. Lannutti, Department of Communication, Boston College, 21 Campanella Way 524, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 [e-mail:].


To better understand the social consequences of State constitutional amendments limiting legally recognized marriage to that between one man and one woman, this study examines interactions between members of same-sex couples and their extended social network members (e.g., work colleagues or friends of friends who are not considered to be close friends or family). Fifty-seven same-sex couples in seven U.S. states participated in interviews about their interactions with extended social network members regarding marriage amendments. Four themes describe these interactions: coming out, social support, solidarity, and disconfirmation. The results suggest that interactions with extended social network members can create or mitigate negative social consequences in same-sex couples’ experience of marriage amendments.