Thursday, October 30, 2008
The following excerpts are from Phred Dvorak, Why Just One Wedding Isn't Enough for Some Gay Couples, Wall St. J., Oct. 30, 2008:
Three states recognize same-sex marriage. Eight others, plus more than 70 cities, offer civil unions or domestic partnerships with varying rights. The laws can affect everything from discounts on car rentals to hospital-visiting rights. None are recognized by the federal government for matters such as immigration, income taxes and Social Security benefits. The rules can change quickly. * * *
Same-sex couples say they currently need multiple unions to cover the nation's uneven legal patchwork. States such as Massachusetts and New York recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages but don't recognize domestic partnerships. The reverse is true in Washington and Oregon, which recognize gay domestic partnerships but restrict marriage to a man and woman, says Jennifer Pizer, a senior counsel with Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, a gay civil-rights organization.
Ms. Pizer says she urges couples to obtain both a marriage and a domestic partnership. "We advise people to have a belt and suspenders, and then another pair of belt and suspenders," she quips.
Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.