After the elected members of both houses of the state legislature passed a bill recognizing civil unions, the elected governor of Illinois signed a bill recognizing same-sex civil unions:
The measure, approved last month during the General Assembly’s lame-duck session, lets gays and lesbians use civil unions as a way to enjoy several of the same rights as people who are married, ranging from sharing a nursing home room to being involved in dramatic end-of-life decisions.
The law takes effect June 1 once signed. It also applies to heterosexual couples, signifying a step short of marriage.
While it is a good thing that the bill allows same-sex couples to seek protections and privileges for their relationships, it is unfortunate that the legislation also applies to mixed-sex couples who already enjoy the option of seeking state recognition of their unions as marriages.
Still, it is a step in the right direction. Kudos to the elected officials in the appropriate branches of Illinois state government for moving forward on such recognition.