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Bad news for The Peter: Illinois civil unions bill approved by committee

H.B. 1826, the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, has been approved by the Illinois House Human Services Committee, and it will go to the full House for a vote. The fundies are certainly shrieking in horror at even this step toward equality.

Equality Illinois:

HB1826 guarantees many of the rights and responsibilities to persons in civil unions that are currently granted to persons in civil marriages. Among those rights are the ability to participate in healthcare visitation and decision making for one’s partner, survivor benefits and the right to make disposition decisions about deceased partner’s remains.

The bill also affirms religious institutions’ right not to recognize such unions or to solemnize a civil union.

“While this bill does not provide for recognition of same-sex marriages in the State of Illinois, it does give gay couples legal recognition and many of the same benefits and responsibilities of marriage,” said Rick Garcia, political director of Equality Illinois. “It is a step in the right direction for full equality in Illinois.”

Lambda Legal:

“Lambda Legal applauds the bill’s authors for addressing some of the serious threats that same-sex couples face everyday when they can’t get married. By not even offering the most basic protections, Illinois views same-sex couples, some together for decades, as strangers under the law. The way to correct this injustice is to treat all of us fairly and equally-by allowing committed same-sex couples to marry. But until we reach the goal of marriage equality, efforts such as House Bill 1826 help reduce the harms to loving families by offering some critical legal protections that help our state take better care of all our citizens.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding