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Keywords:

  • dissolution;
  • feminist theory;
  • heteronormativity;
  • policy;
  • queer theory;
  • same-sex couples

A queer feminist lens is used to present a selected review of the demographic and descriptive literature related to how same-sex couples in the United States begin and dissolve relationships. We argue that despite research suggesting a uniformity of same-sex coupling that reflects a heteronormative nuclear family, there is actually great diversity in same-sex relationships. As legal recognition of same-sex couples increases from state to state, however, the dissolution of same-sex relationships has become as challenging as legally establishing them. This review explores several current cases representing the difficulties experienced by couples who marry or have a civil union in states requiring residency prior to dissolution and try to dissolve a relationship when they reside in a state that does not recognize same-sex unions.