Massachusetts' Top Court Says A Civil Union Is Equivalent To Marriage

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Massachusetts’ highest court unanimously decided to recognise a civil union issued by another state as equal to marriage so as not to violate Massachusetts’ polygamy laws.The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling comes after Richard Elia claimed his marriage to Todd Elia-Warnken should be void because Elia-Warnken had an undissolved civil union in Vermont, The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog reported Thursday.

“If we do not recognise [Mr. Elia-Warnken’s] civil union, he would have two legal spouses, each of whom could expect virtually the same obligations from him, such as spousal or child support, inheritance, and healthcare coverage,” Chief Justice Roderick Ireland wrote in his opinion, according to the Law Blog.

The decision comes on the heels of a Boston federal appeals court ruling that declared the core of the defence of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

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