Many are disenchanted by marriage. Divorce was a part of their childhood or adulthood. The romance and tradition of weddings could not make up for the misery of divorce.
As a result, families spring up without . Parents make children without acquiring a civil recognition of the union, thereby not acquiring all the rights that marriage affords.
Then came forward individuals who never could marry but wanted to. Traditionalists refused them the right to marry. Instead, traditionalists gave them a "separate but equal" option called “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships.” While not given all the rights of marriage, these gay folks could now enjoy many of the rights.
While society continues to treat gays as second class citizens, their plight, ironically, has provided more freedom for others. Domestic partnerships are not relegated only to gays, but heterosexual couples now may form these unions and avoid the annoying aspects of an institution that has failed them, namely marriage.
If you wish to form a , you may run into some of the same legal situations that marriage and divorce present, therefore consulting an attorney in advance is prudent.