1. Civil union in the United States – Same-sex unions in the United States are available in various forms in all states and territories, except American Samoa. All states have legal same-sex marriage, while others have the options of civil unions, domestic partnerships, the federal government only recognizes marriage and no other legal union for same-sex couples. Hawaii was the first state to recognize limited legal same-sex unions, the legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage in the United States are complicated by the nations federal system of government. Traditionally, the government does not attempt to establish its own definition of marriage. Instead, any marriage recognized by a state was recognized by the federal government, according to the federal General Accounting Office, more than 1,138 rights and protections are conferred to U. S. As a result, shortly after Windsor was decided, a number of areas ranging from veteran benefits to immigration were clarified as applying equally to same-sex couples. The movement to obtain civil marriage rights and benefits for same-sex couples in the United States began in the 1970s but remained unsuccessful for over forty years. On May 17,2004, Massachusetts became the first U. S. state, before nationwide legalization same-sex marriage became legal in 37 states,25 states by court order,10 by legislative action, and 3 by referendum. Some states had legalized same-sex marriage by more than one of the three actions, on June 26,2015 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that states must license and recognize same-sex marriages. Consequently, same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, U. S. Virgin Islands, officials in American Samoa are discussing whether the ruling applies to the territory, currently same-sex marriages are neither licensed nor recognized there. The Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in the states and territories did not legalize same-sex marriage on Indian lands, in the United States, Congress have legal authority over Indian country. Thus, unless Congress passes a law imposing same-sex marriage on Indian tribes, as of the time of the Obergefell ruling,24 tribal jurisdictions legally recognize same-sex marriage. Some tribes have passed legislation specifically addressing same-sex relationships and some specify that state law, civil unions are a means of establishing kinship in a manner similar to that of marriage. The formalities for entering a civil union and the benefits and responsibilities of the parties tend to be similar or identical to those relating to marriage, various names are used for similar relationships in other countries, but civil union was first applied in Vermont. The Supreme Courts invalidation of DOMA Section 3 in 2013 heightened the difference between marriage and civil unions, while marriage provides federal benefits, civil unions do not. Following the legalization of marriage in their jurisdiction Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island. Civil unions are legal in Hawaii and Illinois and Colorado. Domestic partnerships are any of a variety of relationships recognized by employers or state or local government, the benefits of domestic relationships range from very limited rights to all the rights afforded to married people by the state, except where federal law makes providing benefits impossibleCivil union in the United States – Example of California domestic partnership certificate.
2. Domestic partnership in the United States – In the United States, domestic partnership is a city-, county-, state-, or employer-recognized status that may be available to same-sex couples and, sometimes, opposite-sex couples. Although similar to marriage, a partnership does not confer any of the myriad rights. And is best done with the guidance of a local attorney, however, the terminology is still evolving, the exact level of rights and responsibilities of domestic partnership depends on the particular law of a given jurisdiction. However, as a result of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, in many other countries, the equivalent legal status is referred to as registered partnership, and domestic partnership refers to cohabitation, rather than a legal status. The legal rights afforded to partners depends on the location, state-level recognition of partners is, generally, significantly stronger and can help partners secure benefits such as leave similar to that provided under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The range of benefits is generally greater in such cities as San Francisco, New York City, Partner benefits are more common among large employers, colleges and universities than at small businesses. The qualifications for and benefits of domestic partnership status vary from employer to employer, some recognize only same-sex or different-sex couples, according to data from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the majority of Fortune 500 companies provided benefits to same-sex partners of employees as of June 2006. Overall,41 percent of HR professionals indicate that their organizations offered some form of domestic partner benefits, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation offers best practices on how to implement them. IRS Regulation Section 1. 61-21 generally requires that the value of the benefit be considered taxable income. The same is not true for married couples, the proposed Tax Parity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act would remove these tax inequities. Some U. S. cities offer domestic partnership registries, some private employers use domestic partnership registrations for the purpose of determining employee eligibility for domestic partner benefits. The following are examples of such registries. Domestic partnerships in New York City exist for same sex couples, signed into law by Rudolph Giuliani on July 7,1997, the law codified executive orders by the previous two administrations. Other communities provide similar benefits, however one town, Eastchester, for a discussion of both the history and implementation of New York Domestic partnerships see the June 2003 report of an official New York City Council study. Not until 1989 was a partnership law adopted in the city of San Francisco. As of December 2006, the city offers a domestic partnership status separate from that offered by the state. The first city to offer domestic partnerships in Ohio was Cleveland Heights in 2003, in 2007, Toledo, Ohio, became the second city in Ohio to offer domestic partnerships. In 2008, the Cleveland City Council voted to enact a domestic partner registry, in 2011, the Athens City Council established a domestic partner registryDomestic partnership in the United States – Cities, boroughs, towns, townships, unincorporated areas, and villages that offers domestic partner benefits
3. HIV/AIDS in the United States – HIV-2 is common in West Africa, but is much rarer in the United States than HIV-1, which is more virulent and progresses more quickly to the full-blown AIDS disease. In Africa, where the vast majority of cases have always been, treatment of HIV/AIDS is primarily a drug cocktail of protease inhibitors, and education programs help people avoid infection. For the first few decades, infected foreign nationals were turned back at the U. S. border to prevent additional infections. The number of U. S. deaths from AIDS have declined sharply since the years of the diseases presentation domestically. In the United States,1.2 million people live with an HIV infection, invariably, HIV is a silent disease when first acquired, though this latency varies in length. The progression from HIV infection to AIDS varies from 5–12 years, in the past, most individuals succumbed to the disease in 1–2 years after being diagnosed with AIDS. However, since the introduction of potent anti retroviral drug therapy and better prophylaxis against opportunistic infections, the overall death rate among persons diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in New York City decreased by 62% from 2001 to 2012. Great progress was made in the U. S. following the introduction of three-drug anti-HIV treatments that included protease inhibitors, david Ho, a pioneer of this approach, was honored as Time Magazine Man of the Year for 1996. Deaths were rapidly reduced by more than half, with a small, since this time, AIDS deaths have continued to decline, but much more slowly, and not as completely in black Americans as in other population segments. The second prong of the American approach to containment has been to maintain strict entry controls to the country for people with HIV or AIDS. Under legislation enacted by the United States Congress in 1993, patients found importing anti-HIV medication into the country were arrested and placed on flights back to their country of origin. Some HIV-positive travellers took to sending anti-HIV medication through the post to friends or contacts in groups in advance. This meant that the traveller would not be discovered with any medication, however, the security clampdown following the September 11 attacks in 2001 meant this was no longer an option. It was also felt that this rule was unfair because it applied even if the traveller was covered for HIV-related conditions under their own travel insurance. In early December 2006, President George W. Bush indicated that he would issue an order allowing HIV-positive people to enter the United States on standard visas. It is unclear whether applicants will still have to declare their HIV status, however, the ban remained in effect throughout Bushs Presidency. In August 2007, Congressperson Barbara Lee of California introduced H. R.3337 and this bill would allow travelers and immigrants entry to the United States without having to disclose their HIV status. The bill died at the end of the 110th Congress, in July 2008, then President George W. Bush signed H. R.5501 that lifted the ban in statutory lawHIV/AIDS in the United States – Chart of AIDS deaths in the United States from 1987 to 1997.