In recent months, there has been a lot of change in America in regards to gay marriage and civil unions. A civil union gives the same rights which are given to a heterosexual couple in a marriage union. Civil unions were first recognized in the state of Vermont, and have since become legal in New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. Other states do not have to recognize the civil union, as it is not recognized by the federal government as a legal union under the United States Defense of Marriage Act. There are, however, more and more states which are considering recognition of the civil union. If you and a loved one are interested in knowing more about a civil union, give Boston Attorney Doug Lovenberg a call today.
In the state of Massachusetts, the subject of a civil union is a unique one, since same-sex marriage has been legal since a 2003 ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Since the civil union is basically the same as a marriage, the civil union has been deemed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court as recognized in the state as well. This decision was made when a same-sex couple involved in a civil union sought to get a divorce.
The dispute started with two men who had entered into a civil union agreement in Vermont. In 2005, one of those two men then married another man in the state of Massachusetts, where same sex marriage is legal. When the last man proceeded to file for divorce, he found out that his husband had never resolved the original civil union from Vermont. If the courts of Massachusetts recognized the Vermont civil union as a same-sex marriage, then the second marriage in Massachusetts would become void.
The state of Massachusetts decided that indeed, the civil union was the same as a same-sex marriage, and therefore, needed a divorce to end it, just as a marriage would. Of course, same-sex marriage is now legal in Vermont as well, and same-sex couple can either have a civil union, or a same-sex marriage, depending on when their union took place. However, to end either, they will need to divorce. Boston Attorney Doug Lovenberg is familiar with both civil unions and same-sex marriages, and can help with either, as well as the divorce process. If you need more information about civil unions and same-sex marriage, give him a call today.