Why Just One Wedding Isn't Enough For Some Gay Couples

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October 30, 2008


"Daniel McNeil and Patrick Canavan joke they've been married four times ? to each other.

"The 'I do's' started with a Washington, D.C., church wedding in 1998. Since then, the two men, have chased evolving laws across the U.S. to secure a civil union in Vermont, a domestic partnership in the District of Columbia and a marriage in California.

"...Same-sex couples say they currently need multiple unions to cover the nation's uneven legal patchwork. States such as Massachusetts and New York recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages but don't recognize domestic partnerships. The reverse is true in Washington and Oregon, which recognize gay domestic partnerships but restrict marriage to a man and woman, says Jennifer Pizer, a senior counsel with Lambda Legal.

"Pizer says she urges couples to obtain both a marriage and a domestic partnership. 'We advise people to have a belt and suspenders, and then another pair of belt and suspenders,' she quips."

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