Question: What's the Difference Between Domestic Partnership and Civil Union?
In name, a civil union and domestic partnership are the same thing. But what rights come with each vary state by state. For example, California has a very comprehensive domestic partnership laws that grants gay and lesbian couples almost all of the same rights as marriage. But other states have domestic partnership laws that gives gay couples only a handful of the hundreds of rights heterosexual married couples are given.
But remember, whether a domestic partnership or civil union, unlike marriage, the rights and benefits are only valid within that state.