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 Already in February 2023, the pope had said that Benedict once dismissed a complaint about what Francis said on civil unions, but offered fewer details. Reuters, NBC News, 2 Apr. 2024 Sham argued that the Hong Kong government’s failure to let him and other gay and lesbian couples get married, or enter some forms of civil union partnership, had infringed upon their rights to equality and privacy. Chris Lau, CNN, 5 Sep. 2023 Eastern Europe has been slower in moving on LGBTQ rights, though civil unions are more common. Time, 21 June 2023 RDPs and civil union partners can't rely on that. Tax Notes Staff, Forbes, 14 June 2021 That decree, signed by Francis, came even after he had been quoted in a documentary as advocating for civil union laws. Chico Harlan, Washington Post, 25 Jan. 2023 Latvia could take a similar step in the next days or weeks, with its civil union bill only a vote away from being approved, providing the president doesn’t veto it. Enrique Anarte Lazo, NBC News, 7 June 2022 John and Furnish, now 73 and 58, respectively, met in 1993, had a civil union in 2005 and welcomed sons Zachary and Elijah via surrogacy in 2010 and 2013. Los Angeles Times, 16 Mar. 2021 That document was issued after Rome criticized Bergoglio for refusing to speak up strongly when Buenos Aires extended civil union protections to gay couples within the capital region in 2002, Ivereigh wrote. Nicole Winfield, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Oct. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'civil union.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1992, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of civil union was in 1992

Dictionary Entries Near civil union

Cite this Entry

“Civil union.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Legal Definition

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.

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