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Registration schemes for same-sex couples: new jurisdiction

Is the union civil?
Same-sex marriages, civil unions, domestic partnerships and reciprocal benefits in the USA

Authors:

Ian Curry-Sumner,

Scott Curry-Sumner

Abstract

The legal recognition of same-sex relationships has been a legislative Gordian knot for almost three decades in the United States of America. Few issues have been so polarising as the debate surrounding the opening of marriage to same-sex couples. The aim of this article is to provide a clear picture of the current state of affairs in the United States as regards the recognition of formalised same-sex relationships. Following an overview of those States that prohibit any form of recognition to same-sex unions, this article focuses on the various registration forms currently operating in eleven jurisdictions in the U.S.A. Using the substantive law material gathered in this overview, these regimes will be compared and contrasted.
It is ultimately concluded that despite the differences between the routes taken, uniform patterns are indeed discernible. It would appear that the name used to define these new relationship forms is absolutely crucial if one wishes to understand the political motives and compromises behind the legislation.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.77
How to Cite: Curry-Sumner, I. & Curry-Sumner, S., (2008). Is the union civil?
Same-sex marriages, civil unions, domestic partnerships and reciprocal benefits in the USA. Utrecht Law Review. 4(2), pp.236–278. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.77
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Published on 09 Jun 2008.
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