Civil Union vs Marriage
The difference between civil union and marriage stems from the gender of the people who enter into a legal contract to live together. 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 the marriage of a couple of the 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 between civil union and marriage that will be discussed in this article.
What is Marriage?
Marriage is a man and woman entering into a legal promise of being there for one another. This is blessed by the religious institutions as a couple when entering into a marriage promises to look after each other. They are also going to be parents to children. Thus, a marriage is always approved by the society, religions and even the government. Entering into a legal bond like this gives both partners of the marriage an equal status in front of law. It is a protection for them during their married life, in a divorce, as well as when it comes to the future and protection of their children.
What is Civil Union?
Civil union is allowing a couple of same sex to enter into the bond of matrimony like normal couples. 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 the 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. Some people believe that civil union appears to be an attempt to legalize a relationship into a bundle of rights and benefits.
• Definition of Civil Union and Marriage:
• Marriage is when two people of different sex come into a legal union.
• Civil union is two people of the same sex coming into a legal union.
• Legal Status:
• Both have the same legal status.
• View of the Society:
• Marriage is always approved by the society.
• Civil union does not get that much approval from the society.
• Religious view:
• From a religious view, marriage is blessed as it is natural for a man and woman to start a family.
• From a religious view, civil union is not accepted as it is seen as going against the nature.