Document Type


Publication Title


Publication Date



Before there was marriage for same-sex couples, there was the civil union. It was a precursor to marriage equality, one that provided the benefits and obligations of marriage without the name—a political compromise before the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. Although the civil union has been made essentially irrelevant, it continues to raise legal questions about the rights and status of its participants. A recent case in New York, O’Reilly-Morshead v. O’Reilly-Morshead , shows continuing confusion about a status that was not quite marriage, but not quite anything else either.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.