Osgoode Hall Law Journal

Document Type



In this article the author addresses the theoretical and political challenges issued to feminists and feminist scholarship by recent debates and litigation concerning "family" and "family-based" benefits. The argument proceeds in four parts: first, the discussion is relocated within socialist feminist theory. The implications of the qualified pro-family stance in the critiques advanced or influenced by women of colour is considered next, followed by an examination of some proposals to extend the definition of "spouse" and "family" to lesbian and gay relationships. The author is critical of both "critiques" and illustrates with reference to Canadian welfare and immigration law that feminists, lesbians, and gays must be attentive to the complex and contradictory implications of family-based strategies.