civil union vs marriage - legal rights

Can someone break down for me the differences in legal rights/benefits for those in a civil union vs a marriage?
Hospital visitation rights? Taxes? Survivor benefits through Social Security? Veterans benefits? Insurance breaks? Estate planning issues? Etc.
I realize these may be different for each state. I am particularly interested in this issue for Californians.
Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage. Anais Nin
My hair shrinks or expands according to the humidity and my hair products.
2C hair, thick and coarse and dry
Can someone break down for me the differences in legal rights/benefits for those in a civil union vs a marriage?
Hospital visitation rights? Taxes? Survivor benefits through Social Security? Veterans benefits? Insurance breaks? Estate planning issues? Etc.
I realize these may be different for each state. I am particularly interested in this issue for Californians.
Originally Posted by belicious


That's going to vary greatly by state. Many (most?) states don't recognize civil unions at all. I'm sure CA's laws are online. Try Googling.
Speckla
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A civil union is only recognized by the state that grants it so it's going to be different state by state. Marriage is recognized and acknowledged by all states so married couples have benefits no matter what state you live in.

Last edited by Speckla; 11-08-2008 at 06:26 PM.
So I have been googling away and I find mixed possibly outdated info. I hope someone out there can clear up the confusion.
Regarding tax benefits, it does look like Californians who are registered as domestic partners can file state taxes jointly and enjoy same state tax benefits as married partners.

http://www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals/faq/dompart.shtml
This conflicts with this info:
http://www.letcaliforniaring.org/sit...cts.htm#versus

This site advises those Californians that are in the military and those receiving SSI and Medi-Cal to not register as domestic partners as it would hurt their benefits. But I am unclear why/how that works?
http://www.eqca.org/atf/cf/{687DF34F...}/AB205FAQ.PDF
Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage. Anais Nin
My hair shrinks or expands according to the humidity and my hair products.
2C hair, thick and coarse and dry

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