Couples line up to get civil union licenses
"Civil unions became legal Wednesday in Illinois, granting both same-sex and heterosexual couples the same legal protections and responsibilities that married couples receive, including the ability to make medical decisions for an ailing partner and the right to inherit a partner's property.
"...Christopher Clark, senior staff attorney for Lambda Legal, says there are several key differences between civil unions and marriage.
"...'The law that went into effect (Wednesday) provides couples who enter into a civil union with all of the benefits, obligations and responsibilities that Illinois provides to married spouses, but with no impact on federal law,' he said.
"...Lambda Legal and Equality Illinois have created Civil Union Tracker, a program that aims to ensure that same-sex and different-sex couples who have a civil union receive fair treatment."