Hundreds of couples lined up today outside of county clerks' offices throughout the Illinois as the state's civil unions bill took effect. Now, all same-sex couples, as well as opposite-sex couples, are eligible to receive civil union licenses. Illinois is now the sixth state to allow civil unions for same-sex couples, and in the coming months, similar bills in Hawaii and Delaware will take effect.
The Illinois bill, signed into law in February, grants same-sex couples many of the same rights that married, opposite-sex couples have.
While couples can apply for their civil union licenses today, they must wait until tomorrow to hold a formal ceremony. Tomorrow in Millennium Park, 30 couples plan to enter into civil unions, with Chicago's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, present.