Marriage » Domestic Partnership http://marriage.laws.com Marriage- Marriage Counseling, Same Sex Marriage, Marriage License, Common Law, Vital Records Tue, 15 Nov 2016 16:06:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.18 Domestic Partnerships vs. Marriage http://marriage.laws.com/gay/domestic-partnership/domestic-partnerships-versus-marriage http://marriage.laws.com/gay/domestic-partnership/domestic-partnerships-versus-marriage#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:02:54 +0000

For some, there is a huge difference between domestic partnerships and marriages. First, couples in a domestic partnership, are unable to enjoy the designation of marriage. Many couples argue that the term marriage is the difference between enjoying equal rights or experiencing discrimination.

In addition, individuals in domestic partnerships enjoy fewer rights in regards to their relationship. For some, the difference between domestic partnerships and marriage, can be the rights they enjoy, such as the ability to adopt children or use the services of a surrogate mother. In many cases, domestic partners have no legal ability to start a family.

Domestic partnerships often entitle same sex couples to many of the benefits of marriage. However, there is a big difference between domestic partnerships and marriage. In fact, many members of the LGBT community argue that a domestic partnership is not an acceptable designation of their relationship.

Members of the LGBT community argue that their inability to enter into marriage, perpetuates the discrimination that they already experience on a frequent basis. In addition, domestic partners may not be able to have joint health insurance, joint bank accounts or shared property. In essence, their relationship is only partially, legally recognized.

The difference between a domestic partnership and  marriage, can determine a couples eligibility to adopt children of use the services of a surrogate mother. In fact, many same sex couples adopt their child from another country because of more liberal laws. In addition, many domestic partners use the services of an international surrogate.

Many states forbid same sex couples from starting families, by the wording of their laws. For example, a state's laws may explain that only married couples may a adopt a child. While that law excludes singles from adopting, it also prevents domestic partners from adopting. If however, same sex couples were able to get married, they may be able to adopt a child locally or utilize the services of a surrogate mother in their state.

The difference between a domestic partnership and  marriage can be small or it can have large implications for a same sex couple. Besides having the designation of marriage, same sex couples may also be forbidden from starting a family. Domestic partnerships may also prevent same sex couples form being able to share health benefits or make medical decisions for their partner. While married couples' property automatically becomes shared property, domestic partners property may not.

This can cause complications in the event that on partner passes away. However, many domestic partners are able to share leases and other real estate contracts, so that a surviving partner will be able to continue to reside at the property. As laws slowly change, the need for equality becomes more and more clear. The difference between a domestic partnership and a marriage, can mean everything to a same sex couple.


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The Remarkable International Usage of Domestic Partnerships http://marriage.laws.com/gay/domestic-partnership/international-usage http://marriage.laws.com/gay/domestic-partnership/international-usage#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:02:25 +0000
Domestic partnerships are currently recognized in about 1/5 of the United States and in several countries worldwide. In most of Europe, some form of legal recognition for same sex relationships is currently available.  For example, Hungary, Portugal and Finland offer domestic partnerships. 
Most of the remaining countries in Europe offer civil unions or same sex marriage. In addition, many other countries offer domestic partnerships. For instance, Australia and New Zealand allow same sex couples to enter into a domestic partnership agreement. There is however, no universally accepted formula for deciding which rights are granted through a domestic partnership agreement.
Croatia, Hungary and Portugal offer domestic partnership agreements that are similar to those found in the United States. In fact, domestic partnerships in those countries, confer limited rights that are usually afforded to marriages. Usually, same sex couples do not enjoy all of the rights associated with a marriage, but they do enjoy a large percentage of them. 
In fact, Hungary offers same sex couples the right to change their surname to match that of their partner, the ability to be a parent to a partners child and the ability to have a surrogate child. In essence, same sex partners can enjoy any and all of the rights of marriage in Hungary. In New Zealand, same sex couples are able to enjoy rights that are very similar to those conferred on marriage. However, couples may not adopt children as if they are a married couple. 
In other words, only married opposite sex couples, are able to adopt children. In Australia, domestic partnership agreements offer couples the opportunity to enjoy many of the benefits of marriage, without having the designation of marriage. In fact, same sex and opposite couples are able to enter into a registered partnership in Australia. However, same sex marriage is still banned. In Argentina, several cities offer domestic partnerships to same sex couples. 
In fact, that is true in many countries worldwide. While federal laws may not recognize same sex relationships, many cities offer local recognition of same sex relationships through the registration of domestic partnership agreements. In Pakistan, couples can enter into personal domestic partnership agreements, but they are not legally recognized.
Domestic partnership agreements can confer many different rights to same sex couples. Like state laws, federal laws vary in many different countries. In fact, some countries do not have consistent laws throughout the country. Sometimes, cities decide to have their own local laws regarding domestic partnerships. In any case, couples in same sex relationships worldwide, are beginning to enjoy many rights that they have been unable to enjoy in the past.

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Know the Legal Rights of Domestic Partnership! http://marriage.laws.com/gay/domestic-partnership/domestic-partnership-legal-rights http://marriage.laws.com/gay/domestic-partnership/domestic-partnership-legal-rights#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:02:25 +0000
When couples enter into a legally binding domestic partnership, they will receive a domestic partnership affidavit. The domestic partnership affidavit proves that they have legally entered into the relationship, much like a marriage certificate does. 
Affidavits of domestic partnerships ensure that couples are entitled to all of the rights legally conferred upon their relationship. In some instances, couples must also register their domestic partnership, in order to have it formally recognized.
In some cases, couples will be able to acquire shared health benefits through an employer by showing proof of their domestic partnership affidavit to an employer. However, while employers may offer shared health benefits to these couples, they are not likely to be required to do so unless they are a state government agency. 
Also, an affidavit of domestic partnership will attest to each partners responsibility for each other. For example, they are required to provide food and shelter for each other, and also become responsible for each others debts. In some sates, a domestic partnership affidavit will also allow partners to receive a legal separation. 
In some states, that means that the couple is simply no longer responsible for each other. While some states allow for all of the benefits granted through divorce, such as separation payments and equal division of property. This distinction will depend greatly on state law.
Affidavits of domestic partnership often mirror marriage certificates and are proof of entitlement to many of the same legal rights. For example, couples may use their affidavit of domestic partnership as proof of entitlement to joint bank accounts or the ability to get a mortgage together. In addition, one partner may utilize an affidavit of domestic partnership for proof entitlement to a right to inherit property and assets.
In the absence of a will, that property would normally be transferred to the closest legal next of kin. In addition, partners may need to produce and affidavit of domestic partnership in order to receive visitation rights in a hospital or prison. Generally, only relatives are allowed to visit and same sex partners would not otherwise, be considered partners. 
On the same token, an affidavit will allow a partner to make medical decisions that apply to the health care of their partner. Those rights are inclusive of medical procedures, life support and organ donation. In fact, an individual must produce a domestic partnership affidavit in order to be able to plan a funeral.
Affidavits of domestic partnership are utilized as proof that a couple has entered into a legally binding contract that recognizes their relationship in many of the same ways that marriage certificate does. A domestic partnerships allows couples access to the most basic rights that are generally reserved for married couples. 
In addition, some states allow domestic partners access to all of the same rights as a married couple. Regardless of the level of afforded rights, same sex couples can at least have their relationship legally recognized.


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The Origins of Domestic Partnership http://marriage.laws.com/gay/domestic-partnership/domestic-partnership-origins http://marriage.laws.com/gay/domestic-partnership/domestic-partnership-origins#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:02:25 +0000
Some states have adopted domestic partnership laws, while others have not. In fact, there are about ten states that currently legally recognize domestic partnerships. In fact, laws change quickly and the number of states that legally recognize same sex relationships in any form, fluctuates. 
Currently, domestic partnerships, in title, are seen as outdated by some members of the LGBT community. In fact, many are pushing for a legally defined, same sex marriage so that couples are assured of receiving equal rights in regards to the legality of their relationship.
In the late seventies, a man in California lost his partner and requested to be paid for bereavement time. His employer refused to pay him and the courts agreed. The decision was made because they had no proof as to the validity of the relationship. The case was the first to use the term, domestic partnership, and the first to decide against a domestic partnership law.
Later, in California, Berkeley students defined the term and pushed for a domestic partnership law that would legally recognize same sex relationships in the city. The City council voted on the proposition and those that voted against it, later failed to win reelection. The City Council did not adopt a domestic partnership law.
In fact, the  Berkeley school board may have been the first to approve a domestic partnership law that would recognize same sex relationships. However, the Berkeley city council eventually passed their own domestic partnership law and a registry was created in 1991.
The acceptance of domestic partnership laws began to become a nationwide issue. Cities throughout California, began to pass their own domestic partnership laws. Eventually, California passed  state wide domestic partnerships laws and became the first state to do so. 
Six years later, California began to extend more rights to domestic partners and it was the first state to do so without intervention from the courts. In the interim, other states began to adopt domestic partnership laws. Each state offers unique benefits to couples that are in a legally recognized domestic partnership.
Domestic partnership laws are currently in effect in about 1/5 of states in the Country. However, each state's laws vary greatly as far as which rights and responsibilities couples are entitled to. In some cases, couples are entitled to shared health benefits, and other times they are not.
In addition, some states view domestic partnerships as an alternative to opposite sex marriage, which grants couples all of the same rights and responsibilities. While domestic partnerships were the first step to ensuring equal rights for the LGBT community, many same sex couples are now striving to have their relationship defined as a legally recognized marriage.

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What You Must Know About Domestic Partnerships http://marriage.laws.com/gay/domestic-partnership/domestic-partnership-usage http://marriage.laws.com/gay/domestic-partnership/domestic-partnership-usage#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:02:25 +0000
Domestic partnerships are legally binding and usually utilized by same sex couples, in states that legally allow it. Domestic partnership agreements are akin to prenuptial agreements and can be inclusive of other legal agreements that pertain to marriage. 
They are contracts that offer couples some of the rights and responsibilities that are generally reserved for marriage. In fact, domestic partnerships can be utilized as an estate planning tool, just as prenuptial agreements.While almost 1/5 of the United States currently have domestic partnership laws, many do not. In fact, many states forbid the legal recognition of same sex relationships, by any definition.
Domestic partnerships are utilized by  same sex couples that wish to have their relationship legally recognized and protected. In some states, domestic partnership is the only legally recognized term for same sex couples. In general, domestic partnerships mirror civil unions and same sex marriage. For some individuals in the LGBT community, the term used in not as important as the rights afforded through recognition. 
However, many individuals will not accept any term other than marriage. In any case, the legal recognition of a same sex relationship can offer couples access to equal rights. In fact, couples use domestic partnership agreements as prenuptial agreements, marriage agreements, separation agreements and for estate planning, inclusively. Domestic partnership agreements can be vital to all aspects of a same sex relationship from the beginning up until the end, through death or divorce.
Domestic partnership agreements can be used as prenuptial agreements. Couples can decide, ahead of time, the manner in which assets will be distributed in the event of separation. In addition, couples can use the agreement as a tool to plan for marriage and to decide what they will expect from each other during the relationship. Equally important, couples can use domestic partnerships as a tool for estate planning. 
Couples can decide which assets should be left to their partner. Without these agreements, and in the absence of a will, individual property is generally awarded to the closest next of kin. In addition, couples that enter into domestic partnerships, are able to receive other rights associated with marriage. These rights can be vital throughout a relationship. 
For instance, domestic partners may be entitled to shared health care and the ability to make health care decisions regarding their partner. Also, couples are able to visit each other in the hospital or in prison.
Domestic partners are generally afforded the same rights as married couples. Same sex couples can enter into legally binding agreements that protect their rights regarding their relationship. 
In addition, couples can enjoy the fact that their relationship has been legally recognized by the state in which they reside. In many cases, domestic partnership agreements will be legally recognized in other states that offer them. In fact, there are states that will recognize them, even in the absence of a state law that allows them.

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Learn the Truth About Domestic Partnership http://marriage.laws.com/gay/domestic-partnership/domestic-partnership http://marriage.laws.com/gay/domestic-partnership/domestic-partnership#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:01:57 +0000 Domestic partnerships are relationships between two partners that are not married. The couple can consist of same sex or opposite sex partners. In domestic partnership, the couple co-habitats without any other legal recognition of their relationship. In some cases, the couple lives together and has taken part in a domestic partnership agreement. 


Domestic partnership agreements are not legally recognized in many states. In Fact,  domestic partnership laws vary greatly and there is no clear definition for a domestic partnership agreement or for what is allowed to be included. In fact, the rights and benefits included in a domestic partnership agreement will vary in each state. 


In some cases, couples are entitled to many of the rights and responsibilities associated with marriage and in other cases they are not. Domestic partnership agreements are generally considered to be similar to common law marriage and usually include the rights conferred in a legal marriage.


Domestic partnership laws can vary greatly in each state. In fact, some states do not legally recognize same sex relationships in any form. In those states, same sex couples are not entitled to any of the rights normally reserved for marriages between opposite sex couples. 

Domestic partnership agreements are utilized to protect each individuals contribution to the relationship and to protect individual and shared, property and assets. The first legal domestic partnership agreement was proposed in California in the late seventies. Due to the proposal, domestic partnership was legally defined and put into action in Berkeley, California. In fact, California was at the forefront of legally recognizing same sex relationships. 


However, the federal government enacted the Defense of Marriage Act, which means that the federal government only legally recognizes opposite sex relationships. Therefore, domestic partners are not entitled to any federal benefits that are normally associated with marriage. Federal rights include pensions, tax breaks and issues related to legal immigration for no resident partners.


Domestic partnerships agreements generally confer certain rights and responsibilities to partners. For instance, Couples may be able to inherit property in the absence of a will. In addition, couples are entitled to a portion of that property and other assets, should they split up. 


Domestic partnership laws are in place to protect each individuals contributions to a relationship. In fact, some states allow partners to collect separation  maintenance if they separate. Couples may also be entitled to shared health benefits in some states.


Domestic partnership laws that allow for legal recognition of certain rights associated with same sex relationships, are in place in 9 states. Couples that reside in states without legal recognition of their relationship, are not entitled to any of the rights and responsibilities associated with marriage. 


In some cases, domestic partnership laws are in place to forbid a legal recognition of a same sex relationship. However, many states are starting to pass laws that offer some recognition of  the rights of same sex couples.

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The Wonderful Benefits of Domestic Partnership http://marriage.laws.com/gay/domestic-partnership/domestic-partnership-benefits http://marriage.laws.com/gay/domestic-partnership/domestic-partnership-benefits#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:01:57 +0000

There are many LGBT issues and many of those issues pertain to gay rights. In many cases gay rights are not equal to those afforded to the straight community. Currently, those that fight for gay rights have a big focus on the legal right of relationship recognition for same sex couples. There are many benefits to the legal recognition of same sex relationships including the acquisition of legal rights that are generally reserved for married couples. 

In addition there are many social benefits associated with the legal recognition of same sex relationships. For one, there is the psychological aspect associated with recognition. Couples that are unable to have their relationship recognized, many feel that there is something wrong with the relationship. In fact, the psychological implications can be astounding. Also, legal domestic partners are able to enjoy many benefits associated with health care and employment that they would otherwise be unable to enjoy.

LGBT issues include issues that relate to health insurance and health care decisions. For example, couples that enter into a domestic partnership agreement are sometimes able to share health benefits and to make medical decisions regarding a partner's health care. 

In many cases, states that have legal domestic partnerships, allow employers the opportunity to offer shared health care to employees and their partner. However, they are often not required to do so.  In addition to shared health benefits, domestic partners are able to take part in one another's health care and any decisions associated with that care. In many cases, partners are the individuals that are most aware about their partner's wishes. Without the ability to make decisions regarding a partners health care, partners are often left without recourse if their partner's wishes are not followed.

LGBT issues also include certain areas of employment. In some cases, domestic partners may be entitled to death benefits when their partner passes away. For instance, some employers offer death benefits for their employees. In the past, same sex partners had no legal right to those benefits. However, registered domestic partners are often able to collect such benefits. 

In addition, domestic partners are allowed to enjoy a workplace free of any discrimination that is based on their relationship. For example, employers must not deny paid bereavement time to same sex couples, if it offered to opposite sex couples. Gay rights  should always equal those of the heterosexual community in the workplace.

There are many LGBT issues that many members of society are faced with. Gay rights are one of the biggest issues. In fact, currently, gay rights are seriously lacking in this country. By legalizing domestic partnerships and civil unions, the public affords a large population the opportunity to enjoy the equal rights they are entitled to. 

The benefits associated with the legal recognition of same sex relationships, far outweigh the alleged detriment to society. LGBT issues should be considered by everyone, so that all citizens have the opportunity to enjoy equal rights.


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An Overview of Domestic partnership http://marriage.laws.com/gay/domestic-partnership/domestic-partnership-blurb http://marriage.laws.com/gay/domestic-partnership/domestic-partnership-blurb#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:01:57 +0000 Domestic partnerships are recognized as a relationship in which a romantically involved couple lives together, but is not married or in another legally recognized relationship. Domestic partners can involve same sex or opposite sex couples. Due to many same sex couples having the inability to get married, they often enter into domestic partnerships. 


While some states offer an automatic legal recognition to domestic partnerships, others do not. In fact, couples that do not have a domestic partnership agreement or cohabitation agreement, are often entitled to no rights  or responsibilities that would result from their relationship. For example, those couples have no protections for their rights to shared property or assets. 


For instance, if one partner passes away, the other partner is not entitled to any shared property unless their name is specifically on the deed or lease. In addition, domestic partners often suffer from an inability to make health care decisions regarding their partner. In fact,many domestic partners find that they are unable to even visit a partner in the hospital because they are not family members. In essence, domestic partners are not generally granted any property rights, estate or inheritance rights, or rights that relate to health care. In fact, each state has different laws that relate to domestic partnerships. 


In many states, couples can register their partnership or enter into cohabitation or domestic partnership agreements that confer some rights and responsibilities onto the relationship. Many people are in favor of same sex couple's ability to enter into legally recognized domestic partnerships or civil unions. In many cases, both types of relationships are offered similar, or the same rights in regards to their relationship. 


For many same sex couples, registered domestic partnerships are the only legally recognized option available to them. However,many people argue against domestic partnerships because those relationships often promote rights for the LGBT community. Many conservative states and churches, are against same sex couples receiving any rights of responsibilities that result from their relationship. However, there are many differences between marriage and domestic partnerships. 


For example, domestic partnerships can not attain any federal rights that are conferred on marriages, including social security benefits or tax breaks. In fact, many states do not grant any state benefits to domestic partnerships, such as access to shared health insurance. In essence, domestic partnerships have much fewer rights than marriage. 


Yet, some states such as Nevada, offer domestic partners the exact same rights as married couples, except the ability to call their relationship a marriage. In addition, several countries worldwide offer legal recognition of domestic partnerships, including conferring some or all of the rights of marriage onto the relationship.

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The Best Arguments For Gay Rights http://marriage.laws.com/gay-marriage-rights http://marriage.laws.com/gay-marriage-rights#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:01:32 +0000
The United States Constitution states that all citizens are entitled to enjoy equal rights in this country. How is it that many legislatures and other legal professionals, forget about gay rights when writing laws and enforcing those that are already on the books . Many times, judges also fail to think about gay rights when they decide on cases.  
Unfortunately, many citizens that enjoy all of the rights afforded by the U.S. Constitution, also forget about gay rights when they try to preserve the "sanctity of marriage" by denying same sex relationships any recognition at all. The right to have a relationship legally recognized, is one right that is not currently equal for all U.S. citizens in all states. 
While some states legally allow for civil union, gay marriage or domestic partnerships, the rights conferred through the legal recognition of those relationships, varies greatly form state to state. In fact, couples that receive legal recognition of their relationship in one state, lose that if they move to  state with no legal recognition. In fact, it is not certain states that violate gay marriage rights, but all of them since there is no shared recognition in place.
In order to attain equal rights, same sex couples must be able to have their relationship legally recognized, no matter where they live in the country. Gay marriage rights should be equal to those attained by opposite sex couples. Otherwise, there is no such thing as equal rights. Domestic partnerships, same sex marriages and civil unions should all be considered equal to marriage. There are no fundamental reasons for forbidding gay marriage rights. There are intense debates about gay rights, and many times people forget that all citizens are entitled to equal rights.
In addition to legal recognition, couples must also have access to the rights conferred through marriage.Equal rights include gay marriage rights through recognition, and also the rights attained through recognition of the relationship. In fact, same sex couples that are unable to receive legal recognition, have many other rights violated as well. 
In the absence of a legal recognition, couples cannot be entitled to any of the rights or responsibilities conferred upon a married couple. Same sex couples may not be able to own joint property or to open joint bank accounts. In addition, couples may be unable to legally inherit property in the event of death. 
In fact, many surviving partners have been evicted from the property they shared with their partner. In this case, the individual has no legal recourse unless their relationship was legally recognized. Gay marriage rights must be equal to the rights conferred to opposite sex couples in all ways.
Many lawmakers, citizens and Judges often forget about gay rights when deciding on legal actions and  legal recognition. In fact, many members of the LGBT feel that they are treated with discrimination by the very people that are meant to protect their rights.

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Everything You Must Know About Domestic Partnerships http://marriage.laws.com/domestic-partnership http://marriage.laws.com/domestic-partnership#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:01:31 +0000
Domestic partnerships are a legally recognized relationship between a couple that resides together and are not married, or in another legally recognized relationship. Generally, the couple must have resided together for a certain length of time, and be over the age of eighteen. The couple may consist of same sex individuals, or opposite sex individuals depending on state law. 
Domestic partnership is currently the only legally recognized form of same sex relationships in many states and countries worldwide. Currently, domestic partnership is legally recognized in nine states and in the District of Columbia. While the debate on domestic partnership rages on, there are other debates as well. For instance, many members of the LGBT community, wish their relationship to be defined as a marriage.
In many states, the choice of a legalized term for same sex relationships will exclude marriage as an option. In many cases, same sex couples are pleased to have their relationship legally recognized by any term. However, many couples will not accept any term other than marriage. Until the larger debates are settled, many same sex couples are offered the legal option of domestic partnership. 
Couples that obtain an affidavit of domestic partnership, have proof of their entitlement to many of the rights that are usually reserved for opposite sex, married couples. Many of those legal rights are prohibited without a couple entering into some form of a  legally recognized relationship.


Background: 
Domestic partnerships are defined as relationships between couples that reside together without any other legal recognition of the relationship. The relationship may between same sex or opposite sex couples. In some cases, that couple is entitled to some or all of, the rights and responsibilities that are normally reserved for opposite sex married couples. 
The rights conferred on the relationship, will depend on the laws of their state of residence. In fact, many states offer only limited rights to domestic partners. There are however, some rights that are pretty standard from state to state. Domestic partnership agreements may allow couples to enter into a contract that protects individual and shared property in the event of a separation. However, their individual and shared rights during their relationship, are of greater importance. 
For example, couples may be allowed to inherit property from each other, in addition to being allowed to share that property while they are both alive. In many states, domestic partners are also allowed to share health benefits. Also, couples can be allowed to make health care decisions regarding their partner, agree to organ donation, as well as make funeral arrangements for their partner. These rights were never conferred upon same sex couples until the advent of the domestic partnership agreement.
Origins: 
California was the first state to legally address the validity of domestic partnerships and the implications for same sex couples. In fact, California was the first state to offer same sex couples any legal recognition of their relationship. The term domestic partnership was first used in a court case in which one partner was fighting to have his relationship recognized in order to receive bereavement pay after his partner passed away. 
That individual claimed that his employer withheld pay that was due him. However, the judge sided with the employer, claiming that there was not proof that a relationship existed between the two men.While that case failed to recognize that couples relationship, it brought the idea to the forefront.  Berkeley's citizens began to request some form of legal recognition for same sex relationships. 
Eventually, the city adopted domestic partnership laws. Statewide domestic partnerships laws  in California, would follow. Eventually other states began to legally recognize same sex relationships in some form. While states offer different rights to domestic partners, there are currently nine states that recognize them as legally valid.


Usage: 


Domestic partnerships offer same sex couples the opportunity to have their relationship legally recognized by the state in which they reside. In some cases, other states will also recognize the legality of the relationship, and offer the same, or similar rights and responsibilities as a result of the relationship. For example, a domestic agreement from Colorado, would be recognized in California. 

In fact, the couple  would have more rights conferred on their relationship in California. Domestic partnership agreements can include issues that would normally be confronted in prenuptial agreements, marriage agreements, and even be utilized as a tool for estate planning. 

In fact domestic partnership agreements can be utilized to aid same sex couples in attaining equal rights. Domestic partnerships allow couples to exercise those rights during a relationship, and it the event that the relationship ends through death or separation.


Legal Rights: 


Couples that obtain an affidavit of domestic partnership, are entitled to many of the same rights and responsibilities associated with marriage. Domestic partners are able to own property jointly and open joint bank accounts. In addition, couples can get a mortgage or other loans, together. Domestic partners also become responsible for providing for their partner's needs in the areas of food and shelter. 

In many cases, domestic partnership affidavits make partners liable for each others debt and other financial responsibilities. In some states, domestic partners are also able to make health care decisions for their partners and they also become entitled to visit their partner in the hospital or in prison. In fact, domestic partners are able to take part in estate planning and also to make funeral arrangements for each other. 

In addition, some domestic partners are legally able to change their surname to match that of their partner's. Like marriage, domestic partnerships allow couples to enjoy many rights and responsibilities because of the legal recognition of their relationship.
Benefits Arguments For: 


Citizens of the United States are assured that they are suppose to have access to equal rights. However, members of the LGBT community are often denied access to rights that are generally afforded to the public. By denying the legality of same sex marriage, the rights associated with marriage are also denied. 
In fact, same sex couples are confronted with the loss of property and assets when a partner dies. In some cases, a partner is forced to vacate the property because they are not legally allowed to be listed on the lease or deed. In addition, partners may not be able to visit each other in the hospital or make medical decisions even though they are most aware of their partners wishes.
Domestic partnership agreements allow same sex couples the ability to care for each other in life and in death. Without the agreements, same sex couples have no legal rights regarding their relationship. In order to enjoy the rights afforded to marriage, couples must first be legally allowed to recognize their relationship. In doing so, same sex couples are then able to enjoy the rights that follow the legal recognition of their relationship, such as shared property, joint bank accounts and the ability to make health care decisions.
Arguments Against: 


There are many arguments against the legal recognition of same sex relationships. For instance, the opposition claims that the legal recognition of same sex relationships, puts the sanity of marriage in jeopardy. In fact, many people claim that a marriage, or any similar relationship, should strictly be recognized as the unique relationship between a man and a woman. Many people claim that same sex couples will be able to start families once they are able to legally recognize their relationship. In addition, the opposition feels that same sex couples will be unable to effectively parent. 
In essence, the opposition claims that their are too many negative implications associated with children raised by same sex parents. People use negative outcome as an argument against gay marriage, citing psychological and social implications that are supposedly associated with same sex couples raising children. In general, the opposition claims that marriage is strictly meant for an opposite sex couple, with the intent of starting a family. Any other variation, denies the sanctity of marriage.
Brief Description of States that Allow and the Differences Between them:
 
In some states, domestic partners are entitled to all of the same rights as married couples. However, some states offer domestic partners only limited rights. Nevada is one state that offers domestic partners all of the rights that are conferred on a married couple. That means that a domestic partnership is like marriage, in every way, except for in name. In Nevada, married couples receive no benefit over domestic partnerships. 
However, Maryland offers very limited rights to domestic partners. Mostly domestic partners receive rights as they relate to health care in Maryland. In fact, couples cannot enjoy many of the rights afforded to married couples in Maryland. Oregon is another example of a state that offers domestic partners limited rights regarding their domestic partnership status.  
In Oregon, couples can share health insurance,  visit each other in the hospital, make funeral arrangements and inherit property in the absence of a will. Domestic partners in  Washington state enjoy similar rights to domestic partners in Oregon. However, partners are also able to request an autopsy and make organ donations on behalf of their partner. 
While many states currently offer legal domestic partnerships, the rights afforded to those couples can vary greatly form state to state. If domestic partners should move to another state that legally recognizes their relationship, their rights may change in regards to their relationship. For instance, domestic partners that move from California to Washington state, are likely to lose some rights regarding their relationship. However, their relationship would still be legally recognized as opposed to moving to a state that offers no legal recognition.
International Usage:Domestic Partnerships versus Marriage:


For some domestic partners, the difference between their relationship and marriage, can be the ability to have a family. In many cases, domestic partners are unable to legally adopt children or have a surrogate baby. In fact, many state laws prohibit gay adoption by making only married couples eligible to adopt a child or have a surrogate baby. 
In addition, many same sex couples claim that any name, other than marriage, puts their relationship on a status lower than that of an opposite sex couple. In fact, the difference in rights afforded to domestic partnerships versus even same sex marriage, can be significant. For example, some domestic partners are unable to make health care decisions for their partner, while same sex married couples generally can. 
Also, domestic partners are unable to collect pensions, while opposite sex married partners can collect pensions. In addition, opposite sex married couples are also afforded federal tax credits. Same sex couples are entitled to no federal recognition of their relationship and therefore are entitled to no federal rights regarding their relationship. Besides the psychological and emotional implications of no legal recognition for marriages, same sex couples also face many complications in the event that one partner passes away. 
In addition to being unable to share in joint property and assets while alive, same sex couples are sometimes confronted with the horrendous legal complications associated with not being married when one partner passes away. For instance, partners can be evicted from property or be unable to inherit assets that the couple built together. In the absence of marriage, assets are generally turned over to the closet next of kin. In other words, a relative of the deceased will inherit the property and assets, rather than the partner.


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