by David Cohen
Today, Wednesday, June 1, 2011 is a new day in the state of Illinois. Gay and lesbian couples will be eligible to apply for civil union. The ceremonies may be held a day later after the application for union is approved and the license is good for 60 days only.
On January 31, 2011, Gov. Pat Quinn signed the civil unions bill and made Illinois the 16th U.S. state to give spousal rights to same-sex couples by signing the bill into law and allowing civil unions.
This law gives same-sex couples state-level rights and recognitions that married opposite-sex couples took for granted for years. The rights include hospital visitation, a decision making of ending life care and property inheritance rights. The bill will provide protection for Illinois couples and families. Illinois will be one of six states that allow civil unions, and today is an historic day and a tribute to our legislature, our governor and the people of Illinois.
Unfortunately, these rights, protections and benefits are not portable because the federal law states that civil union in Illinois means nothing and it does not convey the over 1,000 federal benefits and rights of regular marriage between a man and a woman.
But the fight is far away from being over, we still need to keep fighting for our rights and equality that we all deserve as human being who living on this planet. So to all of you out there, keep the momentum and effort going until the day we can just sit down, relax and enjoy the freedom, equality and all on our planet earth, the way God gave us all—and enjoy!