Marriage and civil union are two terms that are used to define certain form of relationship that involves two adults. However, they may seem to be the same but they are not the same. The major difference between them is their acceptability both religiously, legally and culturally. In this article, you will learn about the differences between marriages and civil unions.

What is marriage and what is civil union

A marriage refers to a formally, legally, socially, culturally, and religiously accepted lifelong relationship and union between two individuals. Traditionally, the union is between two opposite adults. But today in some societies that have legalized same marriage, the union can be between two adults of the same sex or opposite sexes. In the traditional society, once two adults are married, they have established a family and can start making babies and raising their children. Once a marriage is contracted, the society as well as the government confers certain responsibility to married couple. The same is applicable in religion.

A civil union on other hand refers to a government-created legal and non-religious arrangement intended to provide couples whether they are heterosexuals or same-sex the rights similar to those conferred by marriages. However, the rights conferred on couples that enter civil union are limited when compared to the rights conferred on those that have entered into marriage. However, unlike marriage, it is not generally recognized in all states and nations. The rights of couple in civil unions are only upheld in the states or nations that conferred them. Outside the states or nation, the couple cannot claim any rights about their union.

Civil unions are alien to the traditional societies. They could be said to be a contemporary time invention to allow couples who do not want to get married but want to live together to do so. Most major religions of the world such as Roman Catholicism and Islam do not accept this type of marriage. In these religious, there is no place for couples that have contracted civil union. They may be excommunicated or deny some rights. In Roman Catholicism, couples living together who have not received the sacrament of matrimony.

Marriages in various societies and religious have requirements that have to be satisfied before the ceremony will be performed. In states or countries that accept civil unions, there are also requirements that couples are expected to meet before they are conferred that rights.