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Why hire a planner
Where is Same Sex Marriage Legal?
Differences
Why get married?


Why hire a planner
Planning a fairy tale wedding is probably a dream that most brides-to-be have had since they were in pigtails. The dress, the cake, the bridesmaids, the honeymoon all seem like pretty simple subjects to address when the time comes to begin planning the big day. When and if, it becomes too much too handle, do yourself a favor -consult with a professional wedding planning service such as Enjoy Yourself Events. You will save time, money and unnecessary stress. There is a myth floating around that has people believing that all Wedding Planners are not affordable for working-class individuals. A long time ago, only the elite society knew of and had access to Wedding Planners. Today, Wedding Planners are very common and are hired by celebrities as well as everyday working people. Naturally, Wedding Planners that work with the rich and famous can and do charge through the nose for their services because the clients are able to afford the high-end prices. Misconceptions about Wedding Planners being pricey, comes from wedding shows that air on reality television. The truth is a bride and groom will save more money when working with a Wedding Planner because planners are trained to work within the couple's budget and negotiate with vendors. Whether you are wealthy or not wealthy at all, Wedding Planners are a smart choice when it comes time to plan your special day. Check out wwww.EnjoyYourselfEvents.biz. Wedding planners will alleviate stress from the husband and wife-to be, at any stage of the planning process. Many brides and grooms begin to plan their wedding on their own or with the help of family and friends. Before all vendors are even contacted, couples find that they have exceeded their budget. Between running out of money before the big day happens and their loved-ones stressing them out about what they should or should not do for the wedding, brides and grooms are at their wits-end. Once the happy couple contacts a planner, a common practice is to meet for a consultation, which is usually complimentary. At the meeting, wishes, dreams and ideas are expressed to the Wedding Planner who will then create a magical and memorable event complete with dazzling colors and amazing centerpieces. Planners are known for building relationships with reputable caterers, bakers, deejays, hotels, florists, limousines and any other service that the bride and groom desire. Vendor relationships are the key because the planner is then able to negotiate prices as well as make sure that contracts are in order, valuable lessons that are taught in courses geared towards Wedding Planners. During the wedding rehearsal and on the wedding day, planners will be present so that all runs smoothly. This allows the bride, groom and their attendees to relax and enjoy the festivities. That luxury alone is priceless!

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Where is Same Sex Marriage Legal?
Nations that recognize gay marriage: Canada In June of 2005, the Canadian Parliament enacted a law allowing legal marriage for same-sex couples. Belgium The second nation to legalize same-sex marriage in 2003. Netherlands The first country to grant gay marriage in 2001. Norway Became the sixth country to legalize same-sex marriage on May 11, 2008. South Africa South Africa became the fifth nation to recognize gay marriage in 2005. Spain Spain became the fourth nation to allow gay marriage on June 29, 2005. US states that recognize gay marriage: California On May 15, 2008, legalized same sex marriage New Jersey* New Jersey is the third U.S. state to offer same-sex civil unions behind Vermont and Connecticut. The new same-sex civil unions law, which goes into affect on February 19, 2007, grants gay and lesbian couples the same rights as marriage. *(Although same-sex unions in New Jersey are classified as civil unions, couples are granted the same rights as married heterosexual couples.) New York Note: By a May 29, 2008 directive, New York only recognizes gay marriages from couples legally married outside of the state. Massachusetts On May 17, 2004 Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage. The State of Massachusetts also issues licenses to gay couples from New Mexico and Rhode Island since neither state explicitly prohibits same-sex marriage. Nations that allow same-sex partnerships or unions: Croatia Civil partnerships for same-sex couples have been granted since 2003. Denmark Legal civil partnerships have been allowed since 1989. Finland Has offered registered partnership benefits since September 2001. France Pacte Civil de Solidarité” (PACS), or “Civil Solidarity Pacts,” were instituted in France on November 9, 1999. Germany Gay couples can register as "Life Partnerships," granting lesser financial and pension benefits than marriage. Hungary Gay couples have been protected under common-law marriages since 1995; however they are not eligible for legal marriage. Iceland Since 1996, gay Icelanders have been protected under registered partnerships. Luxembourg Civil partnership legislation modeled after France's PACS were introduced in Luxembourg in 2004. Mexico Same sex civil unions were legalized in Mexico City in November 2006 and in the state of Coahuila on January of 2007, essentially making civil unions legal in all of Mexico (by law, each Mexican state must recognize the laws granted to individuals of the other states). New Zealand In December, 2004, New Zealand enacted legislation recognizing same-sex civil unions. Norway Since 1996, gay Norwegians have been protected under registered partnerships. Portugal Same-sex partners have the same rights as opposite-sex partners in common law marriage. Sweden Swedish same-sex couples have been able to register under domestic partnership laws since 1995. Switzerland Same-sex couples are given limited legal benefits with civil recognition. United Kingdom Domestic partners can register under the Civil Partnership Act. This legislation took affect in December 5, 2005 giving registered same-sex couples all of the rights, privileges and responsibilities of married heterosexual couples. The Civil Partnership Act applies across all of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

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Differences
The Difference between Gay Marriage and Civil Unions by Kathy Belge You hear the politicians saying it all the time. “I support Civil Unions, but not gay marriage.” What exactly does this mean? Some even say they support equal rights for gays and lesbians, but not gay marriage. Is this possible? And why do gays and lesbians want marriage so badly when they can have civil unions? First of all, What is Marriage? When people marry, they tend to do so for reasons of love and commitment. But marriage is also a legal status, which comes with rights and responsibilities. Marriage establishes a legal kinship between you and your spouse. It is a relationship that is recognized across cultures, countries and religions. What is a Civil Union? Civil Unions exist in only a handful of places: Vermont, New Jersey and Connecticut. California and Oregon have domestic partnership laws that offer many of the same rights as civil unions. Vermont civil unions were created in 2000 to provide legal protections to gays and lesbians in relationships in that state because gay marriage is not an option. The protections do not extend beyond the border of Vermont and no federal protections are included with a Civil Union. Civil Unions offer some of the same rights and responsibilities as marriage, but only on a state level. What about Domestic partnership? Some states and municipalities have domestic partnership registries, but no domestic partnership law is the same. Some, like the recently passed California domestic partnership law comes with many rights and responsibilities. Others, like the one in Washingtonoffer very few benefits to the couple. What are some of the differences between Civil Unions and Gay Marriage? Recognition in other states: Even though each state has its own laws around marriage, if someone is married in one state and moves to another, their marriage is legally recognized. For example, Oregon marriage law applies to people 17 and over. In Washington state, the couple must be 18 to wed. However, Washington will recognize the marriage of two 17 year olds from Oregon who move there. This is not the case with Civil Unions. If someone has a Civil Union in Vermont, that union is not recognized in any other state. As a matter of fact, two states, Connecticut and Georgia, have ruled that they do not have to recognize civil unions performed in Vermont, because their states have no such legal category. As gay marriages become legal in other states, this status may change. Dissolving a Civil Union v. Divorce: Vermont has no residency requirement for Civil Unions. That means two people from any other state or country can come there and have a civil union ceremony. If the couple breaks up and wishes to dissolve the union, one of them must be a resident of Vermont for one year before the Civil Union can be dissolved in family court. Married couples can divorce in any state they reside, no matter where they were married. Immigration: A United States citizen who is married can sponsor his or her non-American spouse for immigration into this country. Those with Civil Unions have no such privilege. Taxes: Civil Unions are not recognized by the federal government, so couples would not be able to file joint-tax returns or be eligible for tax breaks or protections the government affords to married couples. Benefits: The General Accounting Office in 1997 released a list of 1,049 benefits and protections available to heterosexual married couples. These benefits range from federal benefits, such as survivor benefits through Social Security, sick leave to care for ailing partner, tax breaks, veterans benefits and insurance breaks. They also include things like family discounts, obtaining family insurance through your employer, visiting your spouse in the hospital and making medical decisions if your partner is unable to. Civil Unions protect some of these rights, but not all of them. But can’t a lawyer set all this up for gay and lesbian couples? No. A lawyer can set up some things like durable power of attorney, wills and medical power of attorney. There are several problems with this, however. 1. It costs thousands of dollars in legal fees. A simple marriage license, which usually costs under $100 would cover all the same rights and benefits. 2. Any of these can be challenged in court. As a matter of fact, more wills are challenged than not. In the case of wills, legal spouses always have more legal power than any other family member. 3. Marriage laws are universal. If someone’s husband or wife is injured in an accident, all you need to do is show up and say you’re his or her spouse. You will not be questioned. If you show up at the hospital with your legal paperwork, the employees may not know what to do with you. If you simply say, "He's my husband," you will immediately be taken to your spouse's side. Defense of Marriage Law Even with lesbian and gay marriages being performed and recognized in some states, the Federal Defense of Marriage Law prohibits the federal government from recognizing gay and lesbian relationships. This puts gay and lesbian couples who are married in a legal limbo. How do they file their tax returns? Do they have to pay the tax on their partner’s health insurance? How do they fill out legal and other forms, single or married? Creating Civil Unions creates a separate and unequal status for some of America’s citizens. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court ruled that creating a separate class for gay and lesbian citizens is not permissible and that is why they have voted that only marriage equals marriage. The precedent was set with Brown v. The Board of Education regarding segregation in public education. Ironically, Massachusetts marriage law went into effect on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. The United States Constitution guarantees equality for all. As you can see, marriage and civil unions are not the same. Creating equal access to marriage is the only fair way to ensure equality for gay and straight couples alike.

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Why get married?
Marriage is something that society understands. When you say you're getting married, the true nature of your relationship becomes clear to your friends, family and co-workers. Because lesbians and gay men have dreamed of lavish weddings as children, just as straight kids do. There is something very powerful about proclaiming your intentions in front the people in your life. It's a great excuse to throw a big party and have a lot of fun! A wedding gives a couple a sense of security. It gives our friends and family an opportunity to stand up for us and support us. To make a political statement about gay and lesbian marriage. It sends a good message to your children.

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Last Updated: 24 Jul 2008 20:52:30 PDT home  |  about  |  terms  |  contact
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