What Gay Unions Don't Guarantee

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"Three states ? Massachusetts, California and Connecticut ? have legalized same-sex marriage.

"But...the question for gay couples is this: Is it worth it to tie the knot?

"For many couples, the answer is a resounding yes: the word "married" itself instantly conveys something that civil unions and domestic partnerships do not.

"...Still, the many rights that marriage confers vaporize the moment couples step into a state that does not recognize their unions.

"...'It really depends on where you are standing,' said David Buckel, marriage project director and senior counsel at Lambda Legal. 'More than 40 states have passed statutes to confirm that same-sex couples are not allowed to marry.'"

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