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A legally sanctioned relationship between two people, especially of the same sex, having many of the rights and responsibilities of marriage.
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|Noun||1.||civil union - a voluntary union for life (or until divorce) of adult parties of the same sex; "parties to a civil union have all the same benefits, protections, and responsibilities under Vermont law as spouses in a marriage"|
law, jurisprudence - the collection of rules imposed by authority; "civilization presupposes respect for the law"; "the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order"
marital status - the condition of being married or unmarried