By 9 a.m. this morning, there were over a hundred couples lined up in Chicago's Daley Center, joyous and relieved to finally get their hands on a civil union license.
Progress Illinois spoke to a few of those
couples who were all pondering the future of their lives together -- thinking of everything from buying houses and
filing taxes together to adoption.
the reception hosted by the Cook County Clerk’s Office, with
flowers, cake and even Frank Sinatra music playing in the background, many
couples gave shout-outs to openly-gay state Rep. Greg Harris for
his efforts in pushing the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and
Civil Union Act that has finally seen it’s fruition today. The bill,
passed in November by a 61-52 vote in the House and signed into law by
Gov. Pat Quinn in January, entitles civil union partners to the same
legal treatment given to heterosexual spouses under Illinois law. With
the new law now in effect, couples can get their civil union licenses
at their local county clerk’s office and must wait
one day before their ceremony can take place.
Despite the celebration of the law going in effect today, many acknowledged the hard road ahead for true equality -- federal rights for their civil unions, gay marriages, and starting a family with gay adoptions. Hear what some of the first same-sex couples in Chicago to get their civil union licenses had to say about what’s next for them: