EDIT + NOTE: I edited a few words to make some passages clearer for the reader. Please note that this entry touches upon a couple sensitive topics, so PLEASE keep it civil in the comments (you can disagree without being a bully, right?). Thanks!
Marriages, partnerships and civil unions all fall under the same umbrella name in Rolamaton: union.
Also, choosing each other as siblings, parents and children, friends for life, etc. are all adoptions in Rolamaton.
Unions and adoptions make most of the Rolamaton families, but being united and/or have a family tie by adoption are not mandatory to be considered a family: in Rolamaton, choosing each other as family is what makes a family.
That's all a group of Robocitans need to be registered in the census as a family: deciding to be one. Whether they're a group of friends living together, self-proclaimed siblings, soulmates or mixed situations, they're all called "family" in Rolamaton.
But let's go back to unions for a moment.
The word "union" is neutral and, unlike the word "marriage", it doesn't carry a huge load of different spiritual, cultural, societal, ideological symbolism.
If you're married, you're united. If you're in a partnership, you're united. If you're in a civil union, you're united.
No matter how you call it, people who have romantic feelings for each other and decide to spend a life together, serving each other in Love, they're united.
This decision for Rolamaton comes from a personal reflection over world and societal events I've observed over the years.
For example, I'm a member of the Catholic church, and for us marriage is not only the celebration of human love: it's a sacrament, a spiritual mission, and a vow to become co-creators with God in His design to help His beloved humans beings grow as a species.
But the meaning marriage has for Catholic people like me is not the same meaning marriage has in the larger human society (= celebration of human love), and it's often not even the same as a partnership (registered or not).
People celebrate their love in so many different ways, and according to so different ideologies!
So, in Rolamaton, I got rid of all these terms - "marriage", "civil unions", "partnerships" - and I kept "union" as the most neutral term to describe that celebration of love, devoid of any other symbolism.
This way, I feel, things are really evened out, nobody's discriminated on the basis of ideological differences, the law serves everyone no matter the values behind their union and the constitution of their family.
Deep inside, I wish I could see such a change in western society, too, so all these fights on marriage rights and partnerships not getting the same rights would end, because everyone would feel safe and protected under the same law, in respect of every human lifestyle in a multi-cultural society.
I feel the change would also serve subcultures, communities and religions incredibly well, because once those words are out of the way at societal level, every sub-community inside of a society can use their own terms without further confusion.
But yeah, it's not like I'm somebody out there in the political world, nor I know if the change would really be appreciated by fellow humans. However, I'm still the author of Rolamaton The Robocity, and within my little science-fictional world, I can make things happen.
You will see more of this in 2003-based Rolamaton stories (still in draft stage) about the union of Shotfire with the human Carol Cimelli.
Thanks for reading!