civil union

n.
a legally recognized marriage-like union of same-sex partners

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      legal recognition of the committed, marriagelike partnership of two individuals. Typically, the civil registration of their commitment provides the couple with legal benefits that approach or are equivalent to those of marriage, such as rights of inheritance, hospital visitation, medical decision making, differential taxation, adoption and artificial insemination, and employee benefits for partners and dependents.

      Depending upon the jurisdiction, such status may be available only to same-sex couples (as in Norway), to both same-sex and heterosexual couples equally (as in New Zealand), or to all same-sex and some heterosexual couples (as in California, where heterosexual domestic partnerships are limited to those in which one partner is over the age of 62). Some countries further parse various levels of commitment; in Sweden, for instance, heterosexual marriage and same-sex registered partnership convey similar rights and responsibilities, and a third status under Swedish law, domestic partnership, allows both same-sex and heterosexual couples to commit to more limited rights and responsibilities toward each other. Thus, while terms such as civil union, domestic partnership, and registered partnership are often used more or less synonymously, they may mean quite different things when used in specific jurisdictions. Although heterosexual couples do engage in these forms of registered nonmarital partnership, most couples who record their commitment through such means do so because marriage itself is not legally available to them. For further discussion of the issues involved in the legal recognition of same-sex partnerships, see same-sex marriage.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • civil union — A relationship available in New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Vermont that provides all of the rights and responsibilities of marriage for same sex couples who register as civil union partners. Category: Divorce & Family Law → Lesbian & Gay Couples… …   Law dictionary

  • civil union — n. a legally recognized marriage like union of same sex partners …   English World dictionary

  • civil union — by 2000, the usual U.S. term for legally recognized same sex unions short of marriage …   Etymology dictionary

  • Civil union — Legal recognition of same sex relationships Marriage Argentina Belgium Canada Iceland Netherlands Norway Portugal South Africa Spain Sweden …   Wikipedia

  • Civil Union — Gleichgeschlechtliche Partnerschaften weltweit Erlaubt / toleriert: ██ Gleichgeschlechtliche Ehe ██ Eingetragene Partn …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • civil union — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms civil union : singular civil union plural civil unions a ceremony similar to a wedding for two people who are of the same sex …   English dictionary

  • civil union — noun a voluntary union for life (or until divorce) of adult parties of the same sex parties to a civil union have all the same benefits, protections, and responsibilities under Vermont law as spouses in a marriage • Topics: ↑law, ↑jurisprudence • …   Useful english dictionary

  • civil union — noun A legal union similar to marriage, established to allow similar rights to same sex couples as the partners in a traditional marriage have …   Wiktionary

  • civil union — noun (in some countries) a legally recognized union of a same sex couple, with rights similar to those of marriage …   English new terms dictionary

  • Civil Union Act, 2006 — Act to provide for the solemnisation of civil unions, by way of either a marriage or civil partnership; the legal consequences of civil unions; and to provide for matters incidental thereto. Citation …   Wikipedia

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