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In the United States, due to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), same-sex couples in civil unions in the U.S. do not have the 1,138 rights that a (different-sex) married couple has under federal law. Same-sex marriages are not recognized federally at all.
It is significantly easier (shorter) to say "I'm married to (somebody)" than it is to say "I am civilly united with (somebody)".