Did you know that thousands of gay and lesbian couples in Illinois and their families lack vital legal protections? Civil unions would afford them some of the same rights that married couples receive, including hospital visitation, health care decision-making and probate rights. While civil unions remain a separate and unequal institution, they are a step in the right direction here in Illinois.
The Illinois General Assembly will vote as early as this week on a civil union bill, so the time to act is now. Go to votesmart.org to find your state legislators. Please call or email them today and urge them to VOTE YES on Senate Bill 1716, House Amendment 1. The bill would allow any couple (same-sex or different sex) to enter a civil union, with some of the same benefits, obligations and responsibilities of marriage under state law. It would also recognize marriages of same-sex couples, civil unions or domestic partnerships from other jurisdictions as civil unions within Illinois.