How Civil Union Law Would Work

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December 2, 2010

Christopher Clark, senior staff attorney in the Midwest Regional Office of Lambda Legal, a national gay and lesbian civil rights organization, said the new law will benefit many couples who couldn't afford the costs of proper estate planning.

"Very often heterosexual couples go and put financial documents in place, but absent that, they have certain presumptions under the law if they haven't done that," Clark said. "But same-sex couples had no rights like that. It's an expensive process, and many can't afford it."

Now, Clark said, a same-sex partner will have the same inheritance rights as a spouse in a heterosexual marriage. Benefits from a state pension will pass on when the worker dies.