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Does Georgia recognize civil unions?

When it comes to recognizing the legal relationships between two individuals, there are many different options that states can provide. One option that has gained popularity throughout the United States in recent years is the civil union. A civil union is a legal relationship that offers many of the same rights and protections as marriage, but without the same name or cultural significance. However, not all states recognize civil unions, and Georgia is one of them.

What is a Civil Union?

A civil union is a legal status that provides many of the same rights and responsibilities as marriage. It is essentially a type of domestic partnership that is recognized by law. Civil unions are often used as an alternative to marriage for same-sex couples who live in states that do not allow for same-sex marriage. However, they can also be used by opposite-sex couples who do not wish to get married, but still want the legal protections that come with a formal relationship.

Some of the rights and protections that come with a civil union include:

  • Joint ownership of property
  • Right to inherit property from the other partner
  • Right to make healthcare decisions for the other partner
  • Ability to file joint tax returns
  • Ability to receive benefits from the other partner’s employer, such as health insurance

Does Georgia Recognize Civil Unions?

Unfortunately, Georgia is one of the states that does not recognize civil unions. In fact, Georgia does not have any type of legal recognition for same-sex couples. This means that same-sex couples in Georgia do not have access to the same legal protections and benefits that are available to married couples or those in civil unions. Even domestic partnerships are not recognized in Georgia.

There have been several attempts to establish civil unions in Georgia over the years, but none have been successful. Most recently, in 2015, a bill was introduced in the Georgia House of Representatives that would have created civil unions in the state. However, the bill never made it out of committee and did not become law.

What Does This Mean for Same-Sex Couples in Georgia?

For same-sex couples in Georgia, the lack of legal recognition can have significant implications. Without the ability to enter into a civil union or get married, these couples do not have access to many of the rights and protections that are available to heterosexual couples. For example, if one partner becomes ill or incapacitated, their partner may not have the legal right to make important healthcare decisions on their behalf. They also may not be able to receive important benefits from their partner’s employer, such as health insurance.

Despite the lack of legal recognition, many same-sex couples in Georgia still choose to live together and create their own families. However, it is important to understand the limitations and potential consequences of not having a formal legal relationship.


While civil unions are a legal option for couples in many states, Georgia is not one of them. For same-sex couples in Georgia, the lack of legal recognition can have significant implications. Without the ability to enter into a civil union or get married, these couples do not have access to many of the rights and protections that are available to heterosexual couples. It is important for anyone in a same-sex relationship in Georgia to understand the limitations of their legal status and take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones.


Which state legalize civil unions?

The legalization of civil unions has been a source of controversy and political debate in the United States for many years. A civil union is a legal relationship between two people that grants some of the legal rights and privileges of marriage, but without the title and status of marriage. Five states currently allow for civil unions: Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Vermont, and New Jersey.

In Colorado, civil unions were legalized through a bill signed by Governor John Hickenlooper on March 21, 2013. Supporters of civil unions argued that it was a matter of equal rights and protections for same-sex couples.

Hawaii was the first state to pass a law recognizing civil unions in 1997. In 2011, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a bill that would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions with the same rights and benefits as marriage. In 2013, Hawaii passed a law allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Illinois legalized civil unions on June 1, 2011. The law grants many of the same rights and benefits of marriage to same-sex couples, including inheritance, property rights, and the ability to make medical decisions for one another.

Vermont was the first state in the United States to allow civil unions, passing the law in 2000. Vermont’s civil union law was a major turning point in the debate over same-sex marriage. Vermont later became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2009.

New Jersey legalized civil unions in 2006. However, in 2013, after years of legislative fights and court battles, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie dropped the state’s appeal of a court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

While civil unions offer some legal protections and benefits for same-sex couples, many advocates for LGBTQ+ rights argue that it falls short of full equality and that marriage equality is necessary for true legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

Are domestic partnerships recognized in Georgia?

Domestic partnerships are a legal arrangement between two individuals who have chosen to live together and share a domestic life. This type of relationship is distinct from typical marital relationships and has its own rights and responsibilities.

In Georgia, domestic partnership is not available statewide. The state government has not authorized this kind of arrangement under the Georgia Code. It is, however, up to individual cities and counties within the state to decide whether to offer it and to create the rules and regulations governing these agreements.

At present, few places in Georgia offer domestic partnerships. Some counties and cities, such as Atlanta, Athens-Clarke County, Decatur, and Fulton County do have domestic partnership registries. These registries allow unmarried couples, regardless of gender, to register their relationships and provide some legal protection for them.

It is important to note that the rights and benefits available through domestic partnerships can vary widely between cities and counties. In some places, such as Atlanta, domestic partners may be entitled to certain benefits, such as hospital visitation rights, sick leave to care for a partner, and bereavement leave. In other places, the benefits may be more limited.

While some cities and counties in Georgia offer some form of domestic partnership registry, the state as a whole does not provide the same recognition and protection for domestic partners as it does for married couples. It is therefore essential for those in domestic partnerships to understand the laws and regulations governing their relationship in their particular location, and to seek legal guidance if necessary.

Can unmarried couples live together in Georgia?

In Georgia, as in many other states, there are no laws that prohibit unmarried couples from living together. Unmarried couples are free to live together and share a household in the same way that married couples do. The law recognizes that people have the right to live together and form intimate relationships irrespective of their marital status or sexual orientation. So, if you are wondering whether cohabitation is legal in Georgia, the answer is a resounding yes.

However, that said, if an unmarried couple is living together, they may face certain legal issues. For example, if one partner owns the property and the other partner contributes to household expenses or rent, there is no automatic legal protection for the non-owner of the property. This means that if the relationship were to end, the non-owner partner may not have any right to the property or any equity that they have built up through contributions towards household expenses.

Another area where being an unmarried couple might cause complications is if one person becomes ill or incapacitated. In Georgia, only a spouse or immediate family member can make medical decisions for an incapacitated person. So, if an unmarried partner is not named as a designated healthcare proxy, they may not have the legal authority to make decisions if their partner becomes incapacitated.

Moreover, if an unmarried couple decides to dissolve their relationship, they may not be subject to the same legal protections as a couple who is pursuing a divorce. In Georgia, unmarried couples may not have access to the same legal resources to resolve disputes or to divide property.

Unmarried couples can live together in Georgia without facing any legal consequences. However, there may be potential legal issues that they need to be aware of, such as lack of legal protections for non-owners of property, lack of legal authority to make medical decisions, and limited access to resources for resolving disputes or dividing property if the relationship ends.