Watching Dr. Phil (I know, I know) on proposition 8 that recently took civil rights away from hundred of couples like me in California. Proposition 8 supporters are still repeating the same lie that same-sex couples can already have all the same rights as married couples. Sigh. So here we go again...
- Marriages are performed everywhere. Civil unions or domestic partnerships only exist in less than 10 states.
- Marriages are recognized by other states. Civil unions/domestic partnerships are not.
- Marriages can be ended in any state, regardless of where they originated. CUs/DPs can not.
- Married spouses of non-American citizens can sponsor their spouse to gain citizenship. CUs/DPs can not.
- Married couples can file joint-tax returns and be eligible for tax breaks and protections from the federal government. CUs/DPs can not.
- Married couples are eligible for 1,049 benefits and protections, according to the General Accounting Office in 1997. These include survivor benefits through Social Security, sick leave to care for ailing partner, tax breaks, veterans benefits, insurance breaks, obtaining family insurance through employers, visiting in the hospital, and making medical decisions if your partner is unable to. CUs/DPs do not protect all of these rights, only some. Lawyers can address some issues but not all, it's expensive, and you still are constantly challenged and questioned. Do you really want to have to produce legal papers to see your husband in the hospital when he's unconscious after a car accident?
If you still think civil unions are separate-but-equal to marriage, and available to everyone, check out: