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Social Policies and Laws - Families and Households

            Social policies and laws have influenced families and household very significantly for the past century, take same-sex marriage as a famous example, Stonewall (2008) did a campaign for homosexual and bisexual rights, estimates that about 5-7% of the adult population today have same-sex relationships, research also shown that the number of the one-person household increased to a ratio at 30% of the total household. This wouldn't have happened if social policies or laws weren't better established. In the past, people wouldn't even consider the possibility of same-sex marriage or cohabiting, death penalty or prison life is the only choice for those people who break the rules. As attitudes changed and better-established social policies, the stigma of homosexuality has reduced, it is now more socially accepted, Netherlands was the first country to permit same-sex marriage in 2001, and then there are more and more countries starting to legalize same-sex marriage. .
             However, Kath Weston (1992) point out that many gay couples are now deciding to cohabit as stable partners, they would reject monogamy and family life and in favor of causal relationships. Allan and Crow argue that, because of the legal framework which recently came up, same-sex partners have had to negotiate their commitment and responsibilities more than married couples, this may have made same-sex relationships both more flexible and less stable than heterosexual relationships. Also, supported by David Cheal (2002), while many gays and lesbians welcome the opportunity to have their partnerships legally recognized, but some fear that it may limit the flexibility and negotiability of relationships, therefore, rather than adopt what they see as heterosexual relationship norms, they wish to retain a status of "difference." Nevertheless, Social policy is now beginning to treat all couples more equally, whether homosexual or more on, for example, since 2002, cohabiting couples have had the same rights to married couples, since 2004, the Civil Partnership Act has given same-sex couples similar legal rights to married couples in.

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