Civil Union Information

Definition of a Civil Union

A civil union is a legal union between two people of the same sex which grants the parties all the same benefits, protections and responsibilities under state law, derived from

  • Administrative regulations or court rules
  • Common law
  • General statutes
  • Policy
  • Any other source of civil law as are granted to spouses in a marriage

Issuance Date

The civil union law goes into effect on October 1, 2005. No civil union license may be applied for or issued prior to this date.


To be eligible to enter into a civil union, a person must be:

  • Over 18 or an emancipated minor
  • Of the same sex as the other party to the civil union
  • Not a party to another civil union
  • Not the following of the other party to the civil union:
    • Aunt
    • Child
    • Grandchild
    • Grandparent
    • Nephew 
    • Niece
    • Parent
    • Sibling
    • Uncle
  • Not under the supervision of a conservator, unless written consent is provided by the conservator.

There is no residency requirement for Connecticut Civil Unions.

Additional Eligibility Factors

  • Any person eligible to officiate a marriage ceremony in this state is granted the authority to perform a civil union ceremony. The law expressly states that any authorized person who refuses for any reason to join persons in a civil union is not subject to any fine or other penalty.
  • Persons who are already joined in a Massachusetts same-sex marriage are eligible to enter into a Connecticut civil union, since the same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in Connecticut.
  • Persons who are already joined in a Vermont civil union or California domestic partnership may not enter into a Connecticut civil union since they are already joined in a relationship which is legally recognized in Connecticut.

Parallels to Marriage

  • Application and issuance procedures for civil union licenses are the same as those established for applying for and issuing marriage licenses.
  • A civil union is dissolved through a court proceeding similar to dissolution of a marriage.
  • Registration and filing procedures for civil union certificates are the same as those established for registering and filing marriage certificates.