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Difference Between Civil union and Gay marriage


Civil union vs Gay marriage

There is, undoubtedly, a lot of confusion surrounding the precise meaning of a civil union, as opposed to a gay marriage. The situation is not made any better when some politicians claim to be in support of one, say civil unions, and, at the same time, are against the other.
Marriage is defined as the legal status that is formally acknowledged by almost all the governments in the world. Just like the rights and protections it has, it also carries mutual obligations. Marriage means more than the totality of its legal elements. Culturally, it is an institution. Marriage itself is an essential foundation that conveys the mutual love and trust between two partners, and the commitment that each partner has dedicated to the other.

A civil union is defined as the legal status which provides legal protection for couples, at only the state level. It does not provide for other federal protections, elevated ranks, power and security, like the case of marriage. The state of Vermont was the first in the US to create civil unions in the year 2000. A few other states have followed suit, including Oregon and New Jersey.

There are wide ranging differences between a civil union and a gay marriage, because of the simple reason that a gay marriage, where it is allowed, is treated just like any other officiated union of two adults. There must be a legally binding document, which will provide for many protections that a civil union will not have. For instance, health care is commonly assigned to individuals who are married, although individual companies may include those in civil unions, except for states like Vermont, where individuals in a civil union have equal benefits, responsibilities and protections as those in a marriage. You can say that a civil union will carry fewer obligations at the separation time, because it will not be necessary to seek for divorce. This can also be a cause for conflict, because the law cannot be invoked.

Worth noting, is that in the gay community, the difference between civil union and a gay marriage is, most of the time, taken as a matter of semantics. It is seen as a method of causing stigma and isolation to an already disfavored type of relationship, between same sex individuals.

1.  A gay marriage is an officiated union, where same sex relationships are legalized, while a civil union is an unofficiated union.
2. Gay marriages will carry a legally binding document, whereas this is not the case in a civil union.
3. In a gay marriage, a partner will have to seek for divorce at separation (which carries legal obligations), while in a civil union, divorce isn’t necessary at separation (therefore no legal obligations).

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