As domestic partnerships, civil unions, and even same-sex marriage gain traction, reality has tempered the gay community's exuberant initial reaction, Salon reports. For numerous reasons, both practical and ideological, many couples would rather not get hitched. Those who haven't cite concerns from worry over inconsistent laws to resentment of what one man calls "a second-class situation."
With state and federal laws varying widely, same-sex partners can face bureaucratic nightmares when they try to get divorced, or even move to a new state. A California lawyer who's gay and has many gay clients summarizes his attitude: "My partner and I would never register, unless there was a real benefit." If there is, it isn't readily apparent.