I am going to try to be very specific here, because I have a history of getting answers to every question except the one that I actually thought I asked.
Those who wish to deny marriage rights to same-sex couples often take refuge in the excuse that the laws of [State X] allow for "civil unions" that, supposedly, provide "all the same legal rights" as marriage.
Is this actually the case?
Do "civil unions", in particular those specified in California law, actually provide all of the legal benefits and protections of different-sex marriage?
I'm not asking for opinion. I'm asking for data. In particular, I'm asking for ammunition to counter those claims.
I am not opening this thread to a debate on whether any kind of marriage should have legal status, or whether anything over and above a "civil union" is a violation of the Wall of Separation between Church and State.* I have a Delete button, and I know how to use it.
I, personally, hold to the principle that "separate but equal" is never truly equal. Moreover, I feel that "merely semantic" distinctions are, in fact, important; "mere semantics" underlies how the human psyche works.
* Organized religion does not hold a monopoly on social tradition. Why do both its most vocal advocates and its most vocal opponents insist that it does?**
** I am not opening this thread to a discussion of Church monopoly of social tradition, either.***
*** If you want unlimited freedom of speech, git yer own damn blog.