Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Civil Union and Marriage

weddingCivil Union vs Marriage

Civil union is not the same thing as marriage. Civil union is a recognized union, just like that of marriage, but civil union does not enjoy the same legal rights as that of the marriage.

Though civil union and marriage both refer to some kind of union, they are different in many aspects, especially the legal aspects.

Civil Union is not recognised by all states. This means that the agreement, which has been made through civil union, becomes invalid when a couple crosses into another state where it has not been recognised. Marriage means the union between one man and one woman. On the other hand, civil union may even be a union of the same sex.

When talking of legal protection, a couple who has married, will get the maximum benefits, unlike a couple who has been engaged in a civil union. Though couples engaged in civil union get some of the state’s protection, they will not get the maximum federal benefits.

One of the differences that can be seen, is that a person who has engaged in marriage, will be able to sponsor the spouse for immigration. On the other hand, a person engaged in Civil Union does not have such a right.

Marriage gives couples the right to file joint tax returns, and also gives them certain tax protection and tax breaks. However, these benefits are not available for couples who are engaged in a civil union.

Another difference that can be seen, is that a surviving spouse will have all legal rights to the assets of a deceased spouse. On the contrary, the spouse is not entitled to inherit any property if they are engaged in civil union.

In the case of family medical leave, married couples are only entiltled to avail it.

Summary

1. Civil union is not recognised by all states. On the other hand, marriage is valid throughout the world.

2. Marriage means the union between one man and one woman. On the other hand, civil union may even be a union of the same sex.

3. Marriage gives couples the right to file joint tax returns, and also gives them certain tax protection and tax breaks. However, these benefits are not available for couples who are engaged in a civil union.

4. A couple who has married will get the maximum legal benefits, unlike a couple who has been engaged in civil union.


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4 Comments

  1. In re: Summary #2: Marriage means the union between one man and one woman. On the other hand, civil union may even be a union of the same sex.

    I take exception to this. Marriage may mean the union between one man and one woman (legally) in the US and much of the West, but there are many, many cultures in which marriage can be between one man and any number of woman — Osama bin Laden’s father, for instance, had 22 legally recognized wives in Saudi Arabia. (I don’t know if they would be “recognized” here in the US.) Therefore, the argument that marriage is universally defined in such a manner mitigates any discussion that the definition is objective and concrete. Also, the term marriage has more of a religious application while civil union is that which is recognized by the governing jurisdiction. Unlike much of the West, the US allows religious institutions to perform marriages and civil unions in one fell swoop (at the house of worship) while civil unions can only performed at municipal offices.

  2. Many states now, including the federal government, recognize legal marriage to be not only between a man and a woman but between a man and man, or woman and woman. The explanation here is old and outdated and needs updating.

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