Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Marion C. Willetts
Domestic partnership ordinances are a form of licensed cohabitation in the United States, typically available to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Currently, couples may register their unions in approximately 60 cities, 9 counties, and 6 states. Hawaii in 1997, California in 1999, Vermont in 2000, Maine and New Jersey in 2004, and Connecticut in 2005 were the first to confer some form of official recognition on same-sex couples, as well as on unmarried opposite-sex couples, who may also be licensed domestic partners. At the national level, proposed domestic partnership legislation in 2001, the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, was referred to the House Subcommittee on the Civil Service and Agency Organization but never reached the floor; so far no one has introduced a similar bill. The first domestic partnership ordinance—implemented in Berkeley, California, in 1984—provided official acknowledgment of the unions of same-sex couples, at a time when legal marriage ...