How is a civil union not the same thing as marriage in the states eyes? I honestly only know about the state I grew up in and the state I'm living in now, and if they allow people to get married in the court house (civil union) that includes all the benefits involved. It's just not recognized in some churches. If some wants to recognize it, that's up to them. If it's different in other states, please let me know.
Because of this it can bring on many issues for a couple that is part of a civil union and not a marriage.
By the way a marriage in a court house is still considered married. A civil marriage and a civil union are two different things. A civil marriage is still not legal for gays in most states only Massachusetts and Connecticut and I would imagine that if a church wanted to marry them they would be allowed to and if a church didn't want to then they wouldn't have to just like churches don't have to marry people now based off of other things because other churches don't or shouldnt have a say in what all churches do.