What is a Civil Union?

Having a life partner means you share everything from experiences to bills to property. It is a choice you make to last a lifetime with commitment and love. Typically, marriage solidifies this in the eyes of the state and gives many benefits for such a commitment like emergency medical decision making power, health insurance coverage, automatic inheritance, family emergency and medical leave, state spousal benefits, right to control remains of spouse and even the right to share a nursing home together along with over 600 other benefits. All of those are simple things the state allows married couples to reap. However, marriage is only legal if it is between a man and woman. Benefits for same-sex couples are not included because they are not allowed to be married. Next best thing? A civil union. A civil union recognizes same-sex couples and gives them access to rights and obligations of a regular marriage. Current law does not allow same-sex couples to marry, so if civil unions were not in place so many rights would be denied to same-sex couples. Support for The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act (SB 1716) is being sought in Illinois for all couples to be able to be in a civil union to have equal rights and protections. This act will give each religious group the ability to decide if they want to officiate a civil union or not. It would also give couples the 650 marriage benefits and would allow either secular or religious officials to register their unions. If you are in a civil union and need assistance with benefits of any kind and are up against glitches, contact an Illinois family law attorney today to help you.
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