civil union

noun

Definition of civil union 

: the legal status that ensures to same-sex couples specified rights and responsibilities of married couples

Examples of civil union in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In 2012, a man and two women in Sao Paulo state became Brazil’s first three-person civil union. Dan Gartland, SI.com, "Brazilian Legend Ronaldinho Will Marry Two Women at the Same Time," 24 May 2018 Religion was the reason my mother chose not to come to our 2001 civil union ceremony in Vermont. Amber Leventry, Longreads, "Making Peace with Selective Reduction," 29 June 2018 Former Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho plans to marry two women at a wedding ceremony in August to form a rare three-person civil union, the Rio de Janeiro newspaper O Dia reported on Thursday. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Ex-Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho to marry two women," 24 May 2018 Brazil, like many countries, outlaws bigamy and polygamy but civil unions between more than two people are not unheard of there. Dan Gartland, SI.com, "Brazilian Legend Ronaldinho Will Marry Two Women at the Same Time," 24 May 2018 But some Israelis bypass the restrictions by holding ceremonies of their choice and formalizing their civil union with lawyers, or by marrying abroad. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, "Israeli Orthodox Lawmaker in Trouble Over Gay Nephew’s Wedding," 14 Sep. 2017 Previously, as Eddy explains in the Times, a person in a civil union was only allowed to adopt the biological child of his or her partner. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Germany Celebrates Its First Same-Sex Marriages," 3 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'civil union.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of civil union

1992, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of civil union was in 1992

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More Definitions for civil union

civil union

noun

English Language Learners Definition of civil union

: a legal relationship between two people of the same sex that gives them some of the same rights and responsibilities that married people have

civil union

noun

Legal Definition of civil union 

: the legal status that ensures to same-sex couples specified rights and responsibilities of married couples

Note: Following Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015), civil unions in some states were converted to marriages by operation of law, or could be converted by action of the couple.

More from Merriam-Webster on civil union

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about civil union

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