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County Clerks Update Forms For Civil Unions

Civil Unions

Ira Dym and Ryan Endress wear commitment rings, and plan to get a civil union license once Gov. Pat Quinn signs a pending bill into law. (Credit: CBS)

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JOLIET, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) – Since state lawmakers have approved civil unions, county clerks in Illinois have some changes to make.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty reports, county clerks’ offices are already busy getting ready for elections in April. But in addition now, the county clerks will have to create applications for civil unions before they become legal on June 1.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty Reports.

Will County Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots tells the Aurora Beacon News she is not sure if same-sex couples will be applying for licenses, or some other if some other term will be used.

The traditional pink and blue paperwork Voots’ office uses will be changing, and judges will have to be trained to officiate civil unions.

DuPage County Clerk Gary King tells the newspaper the staff at his office will have to rewrite their computer programs.

The measure will give same-sex couples all 648 legal benefits of marriage. These include the right to visit a sick partner in the hospital and make decisions about their medical care, and property inheritance rights. But the bill does not recognize same-sex marriage.

The bill passed the state House on Nov. 30, and went on to pass the state Senate the following day, after 90 minutes of impassioned debate.

The move makes civil unions essentially a done deal in Illinois. Passing civil unions was part of Gov. Pat Quinn’s campaign platform last year, and he is soon expected to sign the bill.