Difference Between Gay Marriage and Civil Union

Gay Marriage vs Civil Union

Marriage is one social institution that has been the strong pillar of all civilizations as it has helped in survival of the smallest unit of a society. It is an institution that gives sanction to a couple to live together and to produce progeny. While marriage between opposite sex has been the tradition for thousands of years, there has been acceptance of marriage between people of the same sex of late. Thus, we have gay marriage as well as another phrase civil union that is the legal word for marriage of people of the same sex. However, some say that gay marriage and civil union are different in some respects. Let us find out in this article.

Gay Marriage

Gay marriage is a term coined to refer to same sex marriage. It is a marriage of people of the same sex or same sexual identity. More than a dozen countries of the world have given recognition to gay marriage with such marriage considered legal in some states of US too. The recognition to same sex marriage is a social, political, and religious issue with many religions rejecting such a union as against the law of nature and against the wishes of god. The topic of gay marriage has been a topic of hot discussion and debate continues to rage whether same sex marriage should be allowed or not.

Civil Union

It was Denmark in 1989 that recognized a marriage like partnership between two people, whether of the same sex or not. This is not a marriage per se but gets legal recognition and grants rights and responsibilities upon the couple much like a marriage. Since then, many other countries have recognized the concept and allowed civil union to take place in their jurisdictions. Individuals entering a civil union are entitled to similar benefits that are provided to spouses in a marriage. Civil union is a way to grant rights and benefits to couples living in a marriage like partnership.

Gay Marriage vs Civil Union

To an outsider, there is not much of a difference between a gay marriage and a civil union. Both seem to give legal sanction to the partnership between people of same sexes. However, civil union is an alternative to gay marriage and gives legal sanction to couples entering into a partnership whether they are of the same sex or opposite sex.

We fill up forms that require us to state our marital status. Gay marriage gives the status of marriage whereas civil union does not. Gay marriage brings in its wake many federal benefits whereas civil union does not accord these benefits to the spouses. There are influential people across the world critical of civil union saying there can be nothing similar to marriage other than the marriage itself.