Same Sex Marriage
Depending on the province, state and country of residence, gay and lesbian couples might plan a traditional marriage, civil union, domestic partnership or commitment ceremony.
Please keep in mind that the mandates on same-sex marriage are constantly changing on a day-to-day basis, so please check with the government offices in the city you wish to wed for a detailed description of their same-sex marriage rights before you start planning.
Same-Sex Marriage - is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, in the Canadian provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, the Yukon, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nova Scotia and the State of Massachusetts. This means that gay couples can apply for a marriage license and are recognized and treated under law as spouses.
Civil Unions - grant gay and lesbian couples the same rights and benefits of married spouses. However in many states only a fraction of the rights rewarded to heterosexual couples are given to homosexual couples. Civil unions are recognized in the state of Vermont, as well as in the countries of Sweden and France.
Domestic Partnerships - are recognized in the states of California and New Jersey, as well as the countries of Germany, Denmark and Portugal. Domestic partnerships grant tort claims and continual health coverage for spouses of injured or deceased people, step-parent adoption. They also grant same-sex partners health care decisions over their ill same-sex spouses, as well as statutory wills, property transfer, personal income tax deductions etc.
Commitment Ceremonies - There are no legal benefits associated with a commitment ceremony. Gay and lesbian couples have commitment ceremonies as a symbolic celebration of their love.