There's a reason why all of the homosexual community rejoices at the
fact that more and more states are now passing the law that same-sex marriages
are allowed: they're not "civil unions" or "domestic
partnerships." One would think there shouldn't be any difference,
but there are differences. We can explore them here.
Marriage, for as long as the institution has been a part of humanity, has
always been one bound by law, connecting two people eternally and, above
fairly. That is to say, both married partners would have
joint parental rights to children, responsibilities to make decisions, certain
joint benefits regarding crime and domestic violence, immediate kinship,
hence allowing the right to hospital visits and medical decisions, judicial
protections and immunities. In a marriage, in fact, the two spouses are
automatically part of an immediate inheritance. They're inextricably linked until
the possibility of a divorce. Social security, Medicare, joint tax return
filings, wrongful deaths, insurance plans, bereavements and sick leaves:
they all apply as benefits and general advantages with marriage. Civil
don't have all of those at all.
Because same-sex marriages at the time were never an option, many states
adopted this pseudo-type of contractual law as a way to substitute. The
other major problem with a civil union was the fact that certain specific
protections accounted for civil unions only extended as far as the border
of the state which had filed the union in the first place. Hence, if you
obtained your civil union in Vermont, for example, once you cross the
border and move to another state, you're no longer legally part of
a civil union.
You can then imagine just how much different it is now for many same-sex
couples. They now have the same standing as heterosexual married couples.
And that's a good thing.