Same-sex couples line up for Illinois civil union licenses

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June 1, 2011

"More than 100 same-sex couples lined up outside of a Chicago municipal building Wednesday morning to obtain licenses for civil unions, under a new Illinois law.

"...The Illinois law gives same-sex couples the same rights, benefits and responsibilities of married couples under Illinois law, including rights of hospital visitation and shared parental rights, explained Christopher Clark, senior staff attorney for the gay rights law group Lambda Legal. The new rights do not include those provided married couples under federal law, such as receipt of a partner's Social Security benefits.

"'This is an important step on our march to equality,' said Clark. 'Federal law has to change.'"