A civil union also known as a civil partnership is a legally recognized arrangement similar to marriage , created primarily as a means to provide recognition in law for same-sex couples. Civil unions grant most or all of the rights of marriage except the title itself. Denmark was the first country to legalise civil unions in , however most other developed democracies did not begin establishing civil unions until the s or early s, often developing them from less formal domestic partnerships , which grant only some of the rights of marriage. In the majority of countries that established these unions in laws, they have since been either supplemented or replaced by same-sex marriage. Civil unions are viewed by LGBT rights campaigners as a "first step" towards establishing same-sex marriage, as civil unions are viewed by supporters of LGBT rights as a " separate but equal " or " second class " status.
The Legal Rights of Civil Unions and Gay Marriages
The Difference Between Marriage and Civil Union
While serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis endorsed civil unions for gay couples as an alternative to same-sex marriages. He had never previously come out publicly in favor of civil unions as pope. However, Francis has repeatedly condemned same-sex marriage — emphasizing in multiple statements the Catholic dictum of marriage remaining between a man and a woman. Tyler McCubbin, a former Iowa teacher who was turned down for a full-time job at Dowling Catholic High School in after administrators found out he is gay, said LGBTQ people are still waiting for their full rights to be recognized by many religious institutions, including the Catholic Church. Whether Catholic institutions in America make significant changes based on the pope's views is yet to be seen, but the timing of his statement arrives at what could be a critical juncture for LGBTQ rights in America.
Gay 'Marriage' vs. 'Civil Unions': What's in a Name?
Most people's issue with gay marriage is simply that it is called marriage. It might sound pedantic, but I know the feeling well. I personally don't have any aversion to gays entering life long relasionships, but I do have a natural stubbornness in the face of change in general and I can sympathize with wanting to protect the old ways. After all, marriage is an institution specifically designed to rear children with many laws and tax breaks designed to encourage taking care of kids. And while adoption is possible, its not a staple of gay relationships.
I have a pound ivory tulle ball gown hanging in my dressing room waiting to be cleaned and preserved. I have a shiny new diamond eternity band on my left hand. I'm still sunburned from the 12 days I recently spent relaxing in the Caribbean with my lover. If you didn't know better, you'd think I just got married.