Illinois issues over 1,600 civil unions in the first month
July 12, 2011
In the month of June, 1,618 civil unions licenses were issued by the state of Illinois, according to the statewide LGBT advocacy group, Equality Illinois. EqIL is reporting that 83 of the 102 Illinois counties have issued licenses, or just over 80 percent so far. Equality Illinois complied this estimate by contacting each of the county clerks. At $30 a license, civil unions in the last month raised $48,540 in state revenue: a number that is a boon to the fiscally unstable state.
Illinois governor, Pat Quinn, signed the civil union bill into law in late January. The law gives same-sex couples many of the same legal protections as opposite-sex couples including the ability to make medical decisions and inherit a spouse’s property, but stops short of full marriage. Still, many of the county clerks polled told “stories about the excitement that permeated their offices, especially on the first day civil union licenses were offered,” according to Equality Illinois’s press release.
Additionally, Equality Illinois estimates that the number of civil unions is actually “drastically higher” than 1,618, given the number of couples who had entered into a marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership in other areas. These couples are now automatically recognized under the state law, but did not have to file officially with the state.
Freedom to Marry applauds this step towards ending marriage discrimination. We look forward to working with our partners in Illinois to ensure that every loving couple has the freedom to marry.