Why isn't it happening, especially in states like New York or California? Why isn't it happening, especially in states like New York or California?
Civil unions are legal, to a fault, in California. Registered domestic partners in CA
are treated muchly like a marriage. Recent expansions, signed into law by the Governator will require registered partners to get a divorce of sorts, and also will merge their assets just like any real marriage. Many partners are unregistering before that happens because it will affect their state-supplied AIDS benefits to have joint income that the government recognizes.
I'm not sure how the federal government recognizes them, if at all. Technically, they have to, since legal relationships are established at a state level. We would need a California gay person or attorney to comment.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but all of the states that banned gay marriage could still have civil unions, right?
You're wrong. Most, but not all, of them banned civil unions in the same fell swoop.
That's why its so horrible. Many of the amendments rolled back existing rights for same sex partners, including previously legal insurance benefits and hospital visitation rights, among others.
This past week saw gay rights get rolled back to Stonewall in 11 states.
Would Congress support a bill that defines marriage as between a man and a woman but allows civil unions? Again, why doesn't Congress do this?
Simple. States' rights. Marriage is a function of state government. Both candidates in this past election supported civil unions, but only if the states wanted them to have them. 16 of 51 jurisdictions have now modified their Constitutions to prevent gay rights. Some still left the door open to unions, some barred them permanently. Virginia, for example, has long since had legislature that bans both.
Further, many of them passed amendments that defeated the fuil faith and credit clause of the Constitution. They don't have to recognize gay marriages or civil unions that are conferred by other states, which is a drastic departure from the way this country has worked since its inception.
Its bigotry. This country has spoken with a unified voice - gay people are not welcome.