Marriage Vs.Civil Union

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by randall, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. randall

    randall Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    Portsmouth, VA
    Full Name:
    What's the difference betwwen the two as far as benefits and taxes go? Do they both entitle people to claim another as a dependant?
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  3. randall

    randall Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    Portsmouth, VA
    Full Name:
    Anyone at all know the difference?
  4. kenny

    kenny Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2003
    Greenwich , CT
    Full Name:

    Yeah, the union won the civil war and married the two conflicting differences together...
  5. Slim

    Slim Formula 3

    Oct 11, 2001
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    Full Name:
    I had assumed they were the "same" from a legal standpoint but apparently not because in the court ruling they specifically said that "civil union" is not good enough and that same sex couples must actually be allowed to "marry". Perhaps something in the Massachusetts civil union law was lacking something that they have in their marriage laws.

    So I did a google search and found the issue described as follows:

    Marriages are respected state to state for all purposes, but questions remain about how civil unions will be treated in other states. GLAD believes there are strong arguments that civil unions deserve respect across the country just like marriages. But the two appellate courts that have addressed the issue (in Connecticut and Georgia) have disrespected them based on the fact that their states do not grant civil unions themselves.

    Ending a Civil Union:
    If you are married, you can get divorced in any state in which you are a resident. But if states continue to disrespect civil unions, there is no way to end the relationship other than by establishing residency in Vermont and filing for divorce there. This has already created problems for some couples who now have no way to terminate their legal commitment.

    Federal Benefits:
    According to a 1997 GAO report, civil marriage brings with it at least 1,049 legal protections and responsibilities from the federal government, including the right to take leave from work to care for a family member, the right to sponsor a spouse for immigration purposes, and Social Security survivor benefits that can make a difference between old age in poverty and old age in security. Civil unions bring none of these critical legal protections.

    Taxes & Public Benefits for the Family:
    Because the federal government does not respect civil unions, a couple with a civil union will be in a kind of limbo with regard to governmental functions performed by both state and federal governments, such as taxation, pension protections, provision of insurance for families, and means-tested programs like Medicaid. Even when states try to provide legal protections, they may be foreclosed from doing so in joint federal/state programs.

    Filling out forms:
    Every day, we fill out forms that ask us whether we are married or single. People joined in a civil union don’t fit into either category. People with civil unions should be able to identify themselves as a single family unit, but misrepresenting oneself on official documents can be considered fraud and carries potential serious criminal penalties.

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