(Closed) Civil union vs marriage! Need some American/anglophone perspectives =D

posted 6 years ago in Relationships
  • poll: Would you consider something like the PACS as an option for yourself?

    Yes, for practical reasons.

    Yes, for emotional reasons.

    Yes, for both reasons.

    No, and I'll explain in the comments if I feel like it =)

  • Post # 2
    Member
    2239 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    View original reply
    Lnette91:  I mean, I think this is exactly why same-sex couples fought and continue to fight so hard for marriage. To most people, civil unions don’t have the same meaning, even if they carry the same or similar legal benefits. While I do think that emotionally it is an indication of commitment on some level, it’s not the same as getting married. If you both want to get married someday, what’s holding you back?

    Post # 4
    Member
    2389 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    I don’t think that in the US, a civil union has ANY meaning if the couple is legally able to marry and just chooses not to.  (Obviously is has meaning in those states where gay marriage is still illegal).  

    I don’t know a single hetero couple who has a civil union, and honestly I would think it was strange, like “why not just get married?”.  To me it smacks of gaming the system – you get the benefits of being married without the commitment.  I mean, anything that you can simply write a letter to dissolve isn’t that much of a commitment.  I’ve had bigger commitments with roommates I’ve signed leases with.

    Post # 5
    Member
    775 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2015

    To me it is the next step. We have been living together for 2 years and getting married next month. We have been having some trouble with our license since the postoffice lost our documents so they didnt arrive on time. We got PACSed last monday, because even if its not a marriage its still a legal document, witch basically does consider me his wife. So even if we cannot have the wedding of my dreams, we will still celebrate our Union and relationship in 40 days. (i still hope we could work it out and get married as planned)

    Post # 7
    Member
    2389 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    View original reply
    Lnette91:  I don’t think it’s difficult to get a civil union, at least in Illinois where I live.  As far as I know (and I definitely could be wrong), civil unions didn’t even exist as a legal thing until states created the arrangement to deal with gay couples, rather than allow them to marry.  Since gay couples could do it, straight couples can too.  (Theoretically.  As I said, I’ve never heard of a straight couple with a civil union).  

    Prior to civil unions, some states/cities allowed domestic partnerships, which is even a looser legal binding, but does provide some benefits to the partners.  Individual companies have long allowed unmarried couples to prove that they are “domestic partners” for purposes of health insurance, provided they meet certain provable criteria set forth by the company.  This is completely separate from a LEGAL domestic partnership (because those didn’t exist in most states until fairly recently).  

    What I mean by gaming the system probably doesn’t apply in France, but I was thinking of our screwy employer-based health care system in the US.  I was thinking of benefits that are reserved for married couples, and it seems you could get the same benefits (health care, taxes, etc.) just by signing some paper that doesn’t really mean anything as far as a legal commitment.  

    Contrary to popular belief, common-law isn’t a thing in the vast majority of the US.  It’s only possible in 9 or 10 states.  So perhaps my thoughts stem from a very black and white place – you’re either married or unmarried.  If you’re married, you get certain benefits that come along with that, if you’re single you don’t.  If you choose to live in partnership with someone and not get married, that’s your own issue – if you want the benefits, get married!

    Obviously people should do what they want with their lives, none of it affects me!  I’m just explaining a common American point of view.

    Post # 8
    Member
    7890 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    I think most people still consider marriage to be a stronger bond than domestic partnership. In some states, domestic partnership is exclusively for homosexuals, and marriage solely for heterosexuals. The tax benefits of being in a union depend on the incomes of the different parties, so on a tax basis, it might actually be better to be in a domestic partnership compared to a marriage.

    From a gut feeling perspective, I feel like if you have both as an option, marriage just seems like the stronger bond. However, I can see how some laws might make domestic partnership more desirable.

    Post # 9
    Member
    10635 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    DH and I were in a common law relationship before being married, and we lived more like roommates than husband/wife back then.  I wouldn’t actively choose something like PACS over marriage.  If common law status was more of a choice and less dictated by living choices, or if it was replaced by something like PACS, we may have choosen it before getting married.

    Post # 10
    Member
    836 posts
    Busy bee

    It sounds like a “grown up promise ring” or a pre-engagement engagement. But it sounds cool- I am sure if we had something similar in the US I would feel differently. I think half of the reason marriage is so important to me is the emotional side and the binding of families, since it’s been happening for so many decades bringing together all the pieces of my heritage that make up me, so thats cool 🙂

    Post # 11
    Member
    7976 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

    I think this is an extremely complicated topic and answers will vary widely from country to country. For example, I certainly know that heterosexual couples in the UK (and no, heterosexual is not a typo) campaigned for many years to be allowed to enter into civil partnerships for various reasons. But then, of course, where I am then civil partnerships and marriages confer almost identical rights upon the parties entering into them, and are equally as difficult to arrange and to dissolve, unlike in other countries where they are sometimes seen as “marriage lite”…

    Post # 13
    Member
    10635 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    View original reply
    Lnette91:  It gets a bit funny here.  For the federal government, you’re considered to be in a common law relationship after living together for 1 year.  DH and I pushed it a bit back before doing our taxes that way, as we lived as roommates during school, and he was elsewhere while working in the spring/summer semesters.

    My province doesn’t use the term common law, rather it’s an Adult Interdependent Relationship, which occurs after living together for 3 years, having a child, or declaring it.  It’s a bit different, as it isn’t just for romantic relationships.  For example, if 2 siblings live together, helping each other out, they can be in an Adult Interdependent Relationship.

    Post # 14
    Member
    1443 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    I live in California, where I think common law might be a thing, but if so it takes a while and never really affected me. But if I meet someone whI has been living with a partner for 5+ years, I think of their relationship as pretty damn committed. Marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships are not for everyone. My brother is gay, and he never got a domestic partnership with his ex-partner, and they didn’t get married when it became legal to do so, but at one point they exchanged rings over dinner and started calling each other husband. So that’s my experience.

    I like the idea of something like the PACS as an option for people who aren’t interested in marriage or who aren’t quite there yet. If it was a thing here, I think we might have done it around when we got engaged, because we got engaged almost a year and a half after getting together and married 15 months after that.

    One additional perspective, is that I’ve heard domestic partnerships and similar things can be a preferred option for the elderly. I think at one point the law in California was that you could get a domestic partner if you were in a same-sex relationship or if you were at least 55 or something like that. I think this has since changed. It makes sense to me that perhaps people who are elderly and were single or married for many years and then became widowed or divorced might not want to wed, but if they meet someone, have some level of legal commitment.

    The topic ‘Civil union vs marriage! Need some American/anglophone perspectives =D’ is closed to new replies.

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