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What do a.m. and p.m. stand for?

civil union

noun
1.
a relationship between a couple that is legally recognized by a governmental authority and has many of the rights and responsibilities of marriage:
civil unions for same-sex couples.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Contemporary definitions for civil union
noun

a legally recognized and voluntary union of adult parties of the same sex

Examples

Parties to a civil union have all the same protections, responsibilities, and rights as partners in marriage.

See civil partnership

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Word Origin and History for civil union
n.

by 2000, the usual U.S. term for legally recognized same-sex unions short of marriage.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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