Although homosexual couples do not have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples in 2013, they are getting closer to being considered equal in the eyes of the law. There are many laws and regulations for heterosexual couples that state their rights as legal couples, but the laws are not always followed.
The Domestic Partnership Registration Rule, a federal law, has established regulations for registration, termination, and amendment of a declaration of domestic partnership. This law is promotes the 1992 Health Care Benefits Expansion Act. This law is not specifically for homosexual couples, but for any unmarried couple, regardless of gender, to be able to register as domestic partners in the District of Columbia.
After registering, the couples become eligible for sharing health care insurance if one partner was employed by D.C. after 1987. Visitation rights are also permitted to the partners in hospitals and nursing homes.
Any resident or nonresident couple may resister under the following conditions:
- Both are at least 18 years of age
- Both are unmarried
- Both must be competent to agree to a contract
- Neither must be entered in another domestic partnership
- Both must share a permanent residence
In order to receive a Domestic Partnership Certificate, both parties of the partnership must:
- Appear in person to the registration
- Provide all necessary documentation proving all requirements have been met
- Submit a single application
- Pay the required fee ($45 for registration including one certificate, $18 per copy)
This applies to all U.S. citizens, regardless of residency in the District of Columbia. If you are a resident of a state that does not recognize homosexual partnerships, you can still register under the Domestic Partnership Regulation Rule in D.C.
If you wish to register in a domestic partnership and you have questions pertaining to the legalities or if you are registered and you wish to get out of the partnership, or perhaps you and your partner are not getting the treatment allowed to you according to the law, contact a family law attorney. As a federal law, this rule is applicable everywhere in the United States and attorneys at Sullivan Taylor and Gumina, P.C. in Wheaton, Ill. can answer any questions you may have and help you through any processes involving domestic partnerships.