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  • A domestic partnership is an interpersonal relationship between two individuals who live together and share a common domestic life but are not married. The term is not used consistently, which results in some inter-jurisdictional confusion. Some jurisdictions, such as Australia, New Zealand, and the American states of Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Wisconsin, Maine, and California, use the term "Domestic Partnership" to mean what other jurisdictions call Civil Union or Civil Partnership or Registered Partnership. Other jurisdictions use the term as it was originally coined, to mean an interpersonal status created by local municipal and county governments, which provides an extremely limited range of rights and responsibilities. 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, statutes do exist which provide for recognition of opposite-sex domestic partnerships in many jurisdictions.

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