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Ill. Senate approves civil unions for gay couples

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

By AP/St. Louis Public Radio

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Senate has approved civil unions, putting Illinois on the verge of granting official recognition to gay and lesbian couples.

The measure passed 32-24 Wednesday. It now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, a strong supporter.

Civil unions would give gay couples many of the same rights as marriage - for instance, the power to make medical decisions for a seriously ill partner.

Critics say this would amount to same-sex marriage under a different name.

Some senators argued the Legislature shouldn't be discussing civil unions when Illinois faces a massive budget deficit that should get lawmakers' full attention.

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


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