Brief Descriptions of States’ Civil Unions and Gay Rights

Brief Descriptions of States’ Civil Unions and Gay Rights

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Brief Descriptions of States' Civil Unions and Gay Rights

Same-sex marriages (under state marriage law) are currently only performed in the states of Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. 

Civil unions and other state-acknowledged same-sex partnerships, on the other hand, the compromising alternative for a gay marriage law, it seems, which grants similar marital benefits for same-sex partnerships as heterosexual married couples receive, have been adapted into law in some form or another in the states of California, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.

While New Jersey is the only state to offer actual civil unions through law (since other states' previous civil unions, like Connecticut and New Hampshire, have changed into gay marriage laws), Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and California offer a wide range of marital benefits through domestic partnerships. Maryland, Hawaii, Colorado, Maine, and Wisconsin provide the most limited form of marital benefits. Although these civil unions and domestic partnerships are seen as no substitute for a gay marriage law for the homosexual community, they do, however, state the following overall benefits:

California

California recognizes same-sex partnerships by offering legalized domestic partnerships, which offer some, but not all, of the same rights, benefits, and responsibilities as marriages under state marriage law.

Colorado

Colorado recognizes same-sex partnerships through beneficiary agreements. These agreements grant limited marital rights.

Hawaii

Hawaii recognizes same-sex partnerships through a reciprocal beneficiary registry. These agreements grant limited marital rights.

Maine

Maine recognizes same-sex partnerships by offering legalized domestic partnerships. The law grants limited marital rights.

Maryland

Maryland recognizes same-sex partnerships by offering legalized domestic partnerships. The law grants limited marital rights.

New Jersey

New Jersey recognizes same-sex partnerships by offering legalized civil unions which offer all of the same rights, benefits, and responsibilities as marriages under state marriage law.

Nevada

Nevada recognizes same-sex partnerships by offering legalized domestic partnerships which offer all of the same rights, benefits, and responsibilities as marriages under state marriage law.

Oregon

Oregon recognizes same-sex partnerships by offering legalized domestic partnerships, which offer some, but not all, of the same rights, benefits, and responsibilities as marriages under state marriage law.

Washington

Washington recognizes same-sex partnerships by offering legalized domestic partnerships which offer the same rights, benefits, and responsibilities as marriages under state marriage law.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin recognizes same-sex partnerships by offering legalized domestic partnerships. The law grants limited marital rights.

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