Civil Unions

Some states allow for civil unions as an alternative to marriage. Although a civil union is not a marriage, laws allowing couples to form civil unions give those couples many of the same rights and benefits of spouses on a state level. However, other states are not required to recognize the civil union and the federal government does not provide all of the benefits, protections and responsibilities that are granted to married spouses.

The Supreme Court overruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in Obergefell v. Hodges concluding that a denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples is unconstitutional. As a result, civil unions are less common as they were established as an alternative to marriage for same-sex couples which is now legal.

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We would also like to set some optional cookies. We won't set these optional cookies unless you enable them. Please choose whether this site may use optional cookies by selecting 'On' or 'Off' for each category below. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookie notice.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Functionality cookies

We'd like to set cookies to provide you with a better customer experience. For more information on these cookies, please see our cookie notice.