Minnesota Law Review

Recognition of Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships as Marriages in Same-Sex Marriage States

There is currently a patchwork of laws governing same-sex relationships across the United States. Some states issue marriage licenses, while some states have civil unions, domestic partnerships, or other forms of legal recognition. When couples with alternate forms of legal recognition relocate from the issuing state their new state has to decide whether and how to recognize those relationships. Currently, same-sex marriage jurisdictions utilize a host of different approaches, which results in a lack of uniform treatment of similarly situated couples. One of these approaches is for same-sex marriage states to treat alternate forms of recognition as marriages. This Note argues that treating out-of-state civil unions and domestic partnerships as marriages creates three fundamental problems. First, it ignores the fact that individuals enter into these relationships with different expectations and understandings about their scope than married couples do. Second, it can result in fewer protections for some couples. Third, it reduces the political will to advocate for the expansion of marriage rights. This Note proposes specific model legislation—which should be passed in same-sex marriage states—which creates a system of recognition for a limited time after the couple relocates to guarantee continued protections and mechanisms for conversion to marriage or dissolution of the alternate relationship.

:: View PDF

News & Events

  • Fall Submissions Open – Headnotes

    The Minnesota Law Review: Headnotes fall submissions period is open. For more information, please visit our submissions page. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

  • Vol. 97 Piece Quoted in Mother Jones Article

    A recent Mother Jones article predicting how the Roberts Court would resolve King v. Burwell draws on How Business Fares in the Supreme Court from Volume 97. You can read the article here. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

  • Welcome to De Novo

    For nearly one hundred years, the Minnesota Law Review has been a leader amongst academic legal publications. When Professor Henry J. Fletcher launched the journal in 1917, his goal was simple. It was to “contribute a little something to the systematic growth of the whole law.” Since then, the Law [...]

  • Minnesota Law Review Alum Remembered 45 Years After Death

    Minnesota Law Review alumnus Tom Cranna was honored at the Annual Banquet this Spring, 45 years after his death. Mr. Cranna was remembered for his contributions to the journal, the school, and the positive impact he had on his family and friends. The Devil’s Lake Journal published a memorial which [...]

  • Follow MLR on Twitter!

    The Minnesota Law Review is proud to announce that we are now on Twitter. Follow us @MinnesotaLawRev for information and updates concerning the petition period and deadlines, the opening and closing of article submissions, our 2014 Symposium: Offenders in the Community, and all other news concerning our authors and publications. [...]

Newsletter

cforms contact form by delicious:days