From The Chicago Tribune: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-01-31/news/ct-met-quinn-civil-union-signing-20110131_1_civil-unions-lesbian-couples-gay-marriage
Same-sex couples will get many of the same rights as married counterparts
By Monique Garcia, Tribune reporter
January 31, 2011
For the first time in Illinois history, gay and lesbian couples will be afforded many of the same rights as their married counterparts under landmark legislation signed into law Monday.
Illinois is now the sixth state to recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. Another five states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed Illinois’ sweeping new legal protections Monday afternoon before a jubilant standing-room crowd at the Chicago Cultural Center.
“We believe in civil rights, and we believe in civil unions,” Quinn said. “We believe in liberty and justice for all.”
The law takes effect June 1 and allows gays and lesbians to use civil unions as a way to get many of the same rights given to heterosexual couples when they marry. It also applies to opposite-sex couples to signify a commitment short of marriage.
Continue reading at: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-01-31/news/ct-met-quinn-civil-union-signing-20110131_1_civil-unions-lesbian-couples-gay-marriage