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The civil union measure, authored by council member-at-large Phil Mendelson (D) has widespread support but granting full marriage has divided even the district's gay community. Civil unions would give same-sex and unmarried opposite-sex partners some of the broadest domestic partner rights in the country, including joint powers of attorney, tax benefits similar to those enjoyed by married couples, the right sue for negligence in the treatment or death of a partner and immunity for partners from testifying against one another. It also would provide for breakups including the right to alimony. The bill is scheduled for a vote on Wednesday. DC already offers same-sex couples some rights. In 1992 the district passed a law recognizing domestic partnerships that provides the power to make medical decisions.===== My turn: I think it is really crappy that the new D.c. civil unions would include unmarried straight couples. They already have been given the right to get married. Gay people don't have that right, so civil union are our ONLY option if we want to have a legally recognized relationship. If straight people want to have a legally recognized relationship they should get married, simply because they already have that right. Don't you hate how people (straight people) take things for granted while others (gay people) are left off to the side? I also think that the D.C. Council should first vote on the marriage bill, just to see if it would pass. If it didn't pass, then they should bring up the civil unions bill. Technorati Tags: gay, lgbt, gay rights, district of columbia, civil unions, gay marriage