Kate's battle for Domestic Partnership rights (in this case spouse health care and the right to visit Lee in the hospital and make decisions) took place in the early 1990s. She was probably more successful because Lee had been shot in the course of a criminal investigation.
Nevada just passed a Domestic Partnership law, which on the surface may seem to bypass the Nevada Constitutional Amendment defining a marriage as being between a man and a woman. It falls short of marriage in many aspects.
The Past and Present booklist for June focuses on Marriage - the historical aspects, and whether what we consider to be a "traditional" marriage is really all that traditional. In the strictest, traditional sense, a marriage was originally a business contract. Love didn't have a lot to do with it.
California was in the forefront of Domestic Partnership arrangements. Nevada may follow in their footsteps. California has, of course, lagged behind many states in the same-sex marriage issue.
There are differences between the legal definition (and effects) of domestic partnership and marriage. And there are real ramifications for living together.
Would you be willing to settle for a "domestic partnership"? Would you consider it "settling?"