From tomorrow, hundreds of gay couples in the US state of Nevada will be official civil partners.
The law allowing civil partnerships was passed in June but does not become effective until tomorrow.
Almost 700 gay couples registered their relationships before September 24th. It was the last date couples could register in order to get their certificates on the first legal day of civil partnerships.
The law was vetoed by Governor Jim Gibbons but his decision was overridden by Nevada’s Assembly and Senate.
It will allow gay and straight couples the same responsibilities as married couples relating to issues such as property and debt, and also protect them from discrimination.
No solemnisation ceremony would be required for domestic partners, who will be able to choose whether to have one or not.
The law means that couples, whether gay or straight, will be able to sign a registry at the secretary of state’s office and then pay a fee for a domestic partnership contract which offers some of the rights and responsibilities available to married couples.
However, employers are not required to offer healthcare and other benefits to domestic-partner couples.
In 2002, Nevada voted for a constitutional amendment specifying that a marriage can be between only a man and a woman.