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Civil Unions

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Definition: Civil unions are legal contracts between partners that are recognized by a state or government as conferring all or some of the rights conferred by marriage, but without the implicit historical and religious meaning associated with the word "marriage."

In the United States, some states have legalized civil unions as an option for same-sex couples who cannot legally marry.

Civil unions were once distinct from domestic partnerships, but the terms are now used more-or-less interchangeably.
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