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  • A domestic partnership is a legal or interpersonal relationship between two individuals who live together and share a common domestic life but are neither joined by marriage nor a civil union. In some jurisdictions, such as Australia, New Zealand, the American states of Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and California, a domestic partnership is almost equivalent to marriage, or to other legally recognized unions, while in other jurisdictions such as the American states of Wisconsin and Maine, domestic partnerships may confer lesser relationship rights than other jurisdictions' civil unions and more than de facto cohabitation. The terminology for such unions is still evolving, and the exact level of rights and responsibilities conferred by a domestic partnership varies widely from place to place. Some legislatures have voluntarily established domestic partnership relations by statute instead of being ordered to do so by a court. Although some jurisdictions have instituted domestic partnerships as a way to recognize same-sex unions, domestic partnerships may involve either different-sex or same-sex couples. Wikipedia

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