Equal marriage between same-sex couples and mixed-sex couples is allowed in many countries, but it is still not permitted in many states. In Italy for instance, the government established Civil Unions. What is the difference between these two celebrations?
Let’s try to understand the diversities of civil unions and civil weddings (which are held in a Wedding Hall and not in Church).
Both these institutions are guaranteed by the Italian Constitution, but Unions are meant to be only for same-sex couples, whereas marriage is possible only for mixed-sex couples. In case of a Union there is no necessary ceremony and no preparatory fulfillment to be achieved, but both institutions recognize the rights and obligations of coupledom. But civil unions do not allow adoptions and there is no fidelity duty. Apart from these peculiarities the two celebrations are almost identical. In case of a Union the ceremony is not necessary, there will be only a declaration from the couple, to be made in front of a public official ( a mayor, a councilman, or a civilian with a power of attorney) and two witnesses.
The act will be recorded in a register.
Civil Union’s rights and duties:
Like marriage, a civil union requires mutual obligation of spouses of cohabitation, community property (or division of assets in case both subjects agree on it), moral and material assistance, and the duty of contributing to common needs. In the event of death of one of the spouses, the other will have the right of perceiving pension payments. In the event of serious sickness of one of the spouses, the partner will have the right to decide whether to accept or not the treatments.
The law also established the procedure for the acknowledgement of non-marital partnerships. In this case the two subjects would formalize their union, with all the rights and duties, without having to celebrate a wedding. It could be considered as an alternative to marriage, available to everyone, and its only goal is to have right and duties recognized. The only requirement is that it has to be confirmed by a notary.