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Domestic Partnership

Know the Legal Rights of Domestic Partnership!

Know the Legal Rights of Domestic Partnership!

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.

The Origins of Domestic Partnership

The Origins of Domestic Partnership

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.

What You Must Know About Domestic Partnerships

What You Must Know About Domestic Partnerships

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.

Learn the Truth About Domestic Partnership

Learn the Truth About Domestic PartnershipDomestic
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.

The Wonderful Benefits of Domestic Partnership

The Wonderful Benefits of Domestic Partnership

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.

An Overview of Domestic partnership

An Overview of Domestic partnershipDomestic 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.

The Best Arguments For Gay Rights

The Best Arguments For Gay Rights

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.

Everything You Must Know About Domestic Partnerships

Everything You Must Know About Domestic Partnerships

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.

What States Support Gay Rights with Domestic Partnerships

What States Support Gay Rights with Domestic Partnerships

Domestic partnerships are legally allowed and recognized in nine states and in the District of Columbia. Domestic partnerships are legal and confer some rights to same sex couples in California, Nevada, Oregon, Colorado Washington state, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Maine, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. However, each state offers different rights and responsibilities as they pertain to those relationships. 


In addition, the federal government observes no domestic partnership law, and disallows any federal consideration of the rights conferred to domestic partnerships. In fact, The defense of Marriage Act, was enacted on a federal level and allows states to forbid the legal recognition of same sex relationships, in any form. However, many states have chosen to legally recognize same sex relationships in the form of domestic partnerships. Each state’s domestic partnership law allows different rights to be conferred on the relationship.


Some states recognize every and all marriage rights, as part of a domestic partnership. These rights include, but are not limited to; the right to share property and assets, get joint loans and mortgages, shared health and death benefits, inheritance of property and assets in the absence of a will, vitiation rights in hospitals and in prisons, the ability to make decisions regarding a partners medical care  and the right to legally end the relationship. 


In the event that the relationship ends, some states allow for a domestic partnership to be treated like a marriage as it pertains to the division of property and the need for separation or maintenance payments for one partner. Most states that legally recognize domestic partnerships, only confer a portion of these rights onto the relationship. While couples that move to another state may still find that their relationship is recognized, they may find that they are not afforded all of the same rights regarding the relationship.


Some states have domestic partnerships laws that confer all rights associated with marriage, except the right to call the relationship a marriage. California is one such state. California confers any and all marriage rights to a domestic partnership. In addition, California recognizes all legal domestic partnerships performed in other states, and will in fact, confer any additional rights that California offers, in addition to the rights of the state where the domestic partnership originated. 


California allows domestic partners to enjoy all of the same rights as a married opposite sex couple. In California, the only right not conferred to domestic partnerships, is the title of marriage. In addition, Nevada offers domestic partners all of the same rights as married couples in that state. Currently Nevada and California are the only two states to confer any and all rights of marriage, to a domestic partnership.


There are some domestic partnership laws that allow only limited marriage rights to be conferred upon a domestic partnership. In the District of Columbia, domestic partnerships are open to same sex and opposite sex couples and partners are offered the same rights as married couples, regarding estate planning and other property related issues.  


In other words, domestic partners are conferred property related rights only. Domestic partners in the District of Columbia have no rights regarding health care. However, same sex marriage was recently legalized in the District of Columbia and those couples can enjoy all of the benefits conferred upon a marriage. In addition, since the District of Columbia recently allowed the legal recognition of same sex marriage they may soon do away with domestic partnerships for same sex couples since it is no longer necessary.


In Oregon, domestic partners are entitled to many, but not all of the rights conferred to a married couple. Domestic partnership laws in Oregon allow partners to share health insurance, inherit property, plan funerals and individuals are allowed to visit partners in the hospital. In addition, domestic partners in Washington state are able to inherit property in the absence of a will, visit partners in the hospital and make some medical decisions as they relate to the end of life. These medical decisions include the right to request an autopsy and an ability to make organ donations.  

In Wisconsin, domestic partners receive very limited rights, as compared to other states . In Maine, domestic partners receive inheritance rights and rights regarding health care decisions. The right to make health care decisions is important and offered in very few domestic partnerships.


In Maryland, domestic partners can enter into a designated beneficiary agreement which allows couples to visit in hospitals and prisons, the right to a shared room in a nursing home and the right to plan funerals. Colorado offers domestic partners limited rights in regards to their relationship.In Colorado, couples can enter into a designated beneficiary agreement that will afford couples certain rights as they pertain to the relationship.


Some states that legally recognize domestic partnerships, confer all of the rights of marriage on the partnership. However, most states offer domestic partners limited rights in relation to their relationship. While some laws apply to entire states, there are also certain cities that have allowed for a domestic partner registry. 


For instance, Ann Arbour allows domestic partners to register and they receive many of the same rights as a married couple.Regardless of state and local domestic partnership laws, no domestic partnership will be legally recognized on a federal level. Therefore, domestic partners can not enjoy any of the federal benefits associated with marriage.