Civil Union vs Marriage
Marriage is an age old institution that has worked well till now, and allows a couple belonging to opposite sex to live together, have sex, and raise a family. Marriage also has social and cultural approval, and marital status is one important pointer of a person’s bio-data. Civil union is a rather new entrant in this context and refers to marriage of couple of same sex that has been legalized in many western countries. Though, marriage is the word used to refer to these same sex marriages too, there is nothing in common between these two marriages except two people living together and having sex. There are differences galore that will be discussed in this article.
It all started in Denmark in 1989 when the federal government legally recognized same sex marriage, and ever since then, many more countries have followed suit under different names. Despite differences in name, they are all classified as civil unions. Those who support civil unions say that such marriage grants equal status upon same sex couples similar to that granted to couple in civil marriages. However, there is no dearth of people who decry civil unions and say that they are nowhere similar to civil marriage. These critics say that marriage can take place only between a man and a woman.
Even if one has a neutral view, legalizing same sex marriage, or civil union as it is being called, is nothing, but granting some rights and privileges upon couples that they are not entitled to, if they were not ‘married’ under the new law. Rights available to normally married couple are being granted to couples in civil unions. But, if marriage between same sex is really the same as marriage between opposite sex, there would have been no need for a separate law and legal status. It is true that framing a law, allowing married status to couple of same sex provides them facilities that they would otherwise not get if not involved in a civil union.
The cultural significance of marriage can never be underestimated. As a kid, can anyone even imagine of one day entering into civil union? On the contrary, it is wedding day alone that is in the minds of growing up kids. A married couple is respected in the society. Can the same be said about couples involved in civil unions? It then becomes clear that civil unions are more a matter of convenience and protection under the law than societal approval. In fact, if one takes into consideration opinions of church, a civil union is nothing but an attempt to undermine the socially and culturally important institution called marriage.
What is the difference between Civil Union and Marriage?
- Marriage is a time tested and honored institution that has stood the test of time, and has served well men, women, and kids.
- Marriage can never be compared with civil union as there can be no kids (biological) in the case of civil unions.
- The bondage between parents and children, which is the focal point of civil marriage, is found missing in civil unions and they appear to be an attempt to legalize a relationship into a bundle of rights and benefits.