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Ill. House approves civil unions for gay couples

By AP/St. Louis Public Radio

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois House has narrowly approved civil unions, which would offer gay couples legal recognition and some of the benefits of marriage.

The measure passed 61-52 Tuesday - just one vote more than the minimum for passage. It now goes to the Senate, where supporters expect more support.

Opponents say civil unions amount to same-sex marriage by another name. They argue approving them could lead to the courts ordering the state to give homosexual couples full marriage rights.

Supporters say civil unions are not the same as gay marriage, but they would provide some important benefits, such as the right to make medical decisions for a dying partner.

--- The bill is SB1716. Online: http://www.ilga.gov


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