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Argument: Civil unions are frequently unequal to marriage in benefits and rights

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Argument's parent debate(s)

Supporting evidence

  • About.com - "In most cases, civil unions and domestic partnership laws only offer a fraction of the 1,049 benefits the United States government provides for couples in a heterosexual marriage."
  • About.com - "Recognition in other states: Even though each state has its own laws around marriage, if someone is married in one state and moves to another, their marriage is legally recognized. For example, Oregon marriage law applies to people 17 and over. In Washington state, the couple must be 18 to wed. However, Washington will recognize the marriage of two 17 year olds from Oregon who move there. This is not the case with Civil Unions. If someone has a Civil Union in Vermont, that union is not recognized in any other state. As a matter of fact, two states, Connecticut and Georgia, have ruled that they do not have to recognize civil unions performed in Vermont, because their states have no such legal category. As gay marriages become legal in other states, this status may change."
  • Dissolving a Civil Union v. Divorce: About.com - "Vermont has no residency requirement for Civil Unions. That means two people from any other state or country can come there and have a civil union ceremony. If the couple breaks up and wishes to dissolve the union, one of them must be a resident of Vermont for one year before the Civil Union can be dissolved in family court. Married couples can divorce in any state they reside, no matter where they were married."
  • Immigration: About.com - "A United States citizen who is married can sponsor his or her non-American spouse for immigration into this country. Those with Civil Unions have no such privilege."
  • Taxes: About.com - "Civil Unions are not recognized by the federal government, so couples would not be able to file joint-tax returns or be eligible for tax breaks or protections the government affords to married couples."
  • Benefits: About.com - "The General Accounting Office in 1997 released a list of 1,049 benefits and protections available to heterosexual married couples. These benefits range from federal benefits, such as survivor benefits through Social Security, sick leave to care for ailing partner, tax breaks, veterans benefits and insurance breaks. They also include things like family discounts, obtaining family insurance through your employer, visiting your spouse in the hospital and making medical decisions if your partner is unable to. Civil Unions protect some of these rights, but not all of them."

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