Illinois Gov: Legislature may OK civil unions by end of year

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"Gov. Quinn says he believes civil unions could be legalized in Illinois before the end of the year.

"'The votes are there, I believe,' Quinn said. 'In the Senate for sure, and definitely I think we can do it in the House.'

"Civil unions are agreements that give gay and lesbian partners legal rights and responsibilities when it comes to issues such as property ownership, adoption and emergency health care.

"Quinn told the Daily Herald he believes the measure has enough votes to pass in the fall veto session.

"Quinn calls himself a strong advocate of civil unions and says it comes down to a 'need to encourage tolerance' in Illinois."

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