Civil Partnership Law and Legal Definition

A civil partnership is a marriage-like relationship, often between members of the same sex, recognized by civil authorities within a jurisdiction. Civil union is also known as civil union. Civil unions were first recognized in Vermont. It was in December 1999, that the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that denying gay couples the benefits of marriage amounted to or resulted in unconstitutional discrimination. Subsequently, the legislature passed a civil unions law and it took effect on July 1, 2000.