It's one of the most debated topics in gay marriage rights, but currently gay marriage in the US does not entitle couples to the same benefits as heterosexual marriage. Part of the reasoning behind the struggle for gay marriage to be legalized is to ensure gay couples have gay marriage rights, such as inheritance rights, property rights and next-of-kin rights should one partner become ill.
States that allow same-sex civil unions provide most of the benefits of marriage to registered gay couples. However, these benefits only apply to state law, and couples may not be entitled to benefits that are under federal realm.
In Canada, as well as gaining rights through marriage, cohabiting same-sex couples are entitled to many of the same legal and financial benefits as married opposite-sex couples.
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