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Gay Marriage Civil Unions Legal Facts About Civil Unions And Gay Marriage

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Facts - Books - News    U.S. Facts Of Law:

Gay Marriage Civil Unions

Legal Facts About Civil Unions
And Gay Marriage

A civil union generally refers to a legal status similar to marriage.  It was created by some states and countries to allow homosexual or lesbian (same sex) couples to join into a legally sanctioned union affording the benefits normally accorded heterosexual marriages.  It provides a solution to some in a community who oppose actual gay marriage.  It has also been used by some heterosexual couples not wishing to enter into a traditional marriage but preferring a less ridged institution similar to common law marriage.

Although eastern states such as Massachusetts have been in recent news for adapting liberal gay marriage laws, San Francisco, California has a large homosexual population and is a leader in adapting legislation legalizing gay marriage, and divorce, rights.  This area of CA is responsible for many bills and much debate over this issue.

Civil unions exist with different features.  Some are very similar to marriage while others are simply a registration process.  They may include all the rights granted married couples including the taking of vows or they may include only portions of the rights of marriage.  Each jurisdiction constructs their civil union laws as they see appropriate with little guidance to sameness unlike the case with marriage.

In the United States same sex marriage or civil unions have been established in California, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts and New Jersey.  Canada, Australia, Iceland, many European countries and a hand full of others have all passed civil union or same sex marriage laws permitting such unions.  A number of countries have passed rules pertaining to unregistered same sex unions usually referred to a domestic partnerships.

Some of these jurisdictions such as Massachusetts and the Netherlands have given same sex marriage the same rights and status as heterosexual marriage.

Constitution amendments banning same sex or gay marriage and same sex civil unions have passed in twenty states.  Laws defining marriage as an institution between two persons of the opposite sex have been passed in Forty three states.  A United States Senate bill to propose a constitutional amendment that would abolish same sex marriage in the United States was narrowly defeated in the Senate in 2006. 

More articles on this issue can be found using the links at the top of this page.




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Facts of Law about state civil unions

Facts of Law - Civil Union