In discussing the problems of proposing laws that govern use and content on the World Wide Web (the information space of the Internet), one must deal with the issue of international law. The web is an international resource and although most countries deal with this using laws based on local jurisdiction, this often does not work well. In many situations, this is a minor annoyance (pornography) and in others, it is a major problem (identity theft). While I certainly don't have a solution, I point out that this problem of jurisdiction is not a problem of the WWW, but of law in general.
Law can have a peer-to-peer effect. The example of domestic partners is relevant at this time in the U.S. Most see this played out on television as officials in cities try to approve local ordinances that contradict the laws of the home state. The next problem is that even if the state approves the unions, the bordering states don't or even pass laws that prohibit such unions. Eventually these cases will go to the Supreme Court or a Constitutional ammendment.
Today, they make for messy contract work. For example, the City of Seattle requires all companies that do business with the city to recognize domestic partnerships and provide equitable benefits. This applies to out of state contractors as well. The problem is identifying domestic parterships when the contractor state has no contract type or provision for recognizing such. In short, to bid on a contract in Seattle, the bidding company can sign an agreement to provide the benefits, but to whom? How does the bidding company know that a partnership as such exists? Without some form of binding contract between the partners, what is presented to the company for which at least one of them works to enable the company to legally recognize the union? Is living together enough? If marriage between same sex partners isn't legal and there is no provision for a domestic partership, is the signatory company breaking the law?
It isn't easy to be a global company. Heck, it isn't easy to do business across state lines. As these scenarios play out, the only safe bet is that the lawyers will have jobs and the preachers will have sermons. Who gets to do business with whom isn't all that clear. The social engineering going on in local courts and city administrations is well-intended, but it often reckons little with just how long it will take to get consensus, contracts, and costs in line.