CHICAGO — Illinois became the 12th U.S. state on Monday to grant legal recognition to same-sex couples.
The civil unions bill will provide spousal rights to same-sex partners when it comes to surrogate decision-making for medical treatment, survivorship, adoptions, and accident and health insurance.
“Today is an important day in the history of our state because today we are showing the world that the people of Illinois believe in equality for all,” Quinn said after signing the legislation into law.
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The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act passed in the Illinois General Assembly during the lame duck session following the November 2010 election.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), who is openly gay, drew a long standing ovation from the crowd.
The law takes effect on June 1 and also applies to heterosexual couples. Illinois law will continue to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.