Spouses are exempt from vehicle and real estate transfer taxes when ownership is transferred, but a single person who transfers title to a friend or domestic partner must pay the transfer tax.
Some states, and a few dozen cities, now have domestic partner registries in which unmarried couples may publicly declare their family relationship and gain a few legal protections.
Singles are shortchanged in the social security system too.
They pay the same employment taxes into the system but receive fewer benefits than married couples do.
Several cities in the nation also have unfairly excluded unmarried opposite-sex couples from their public registries or employee benefits programs.
Vermont wont allow unmarried heterosexual couples to register under its "civil union" law, making marriage their only option.
In some of these states, courts have narrowly interpreted these laws so that unmarried couples do not receive protection from housing discrimination, e.g., Maryland, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota.