The Chicago Family Law Blog

One Month of Illinois Civil Unions

It’s already been over a month since Illinois civil unions law went into effect. On June 1st, same-sex couples were allowed to enter into civil unions where they could receive many of the same benefits as married couples.

Now, the Cook County Clerk has issued some statistics on civil unions during that first month, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. According to the report, 831 couples entered into a civil union in June. The first day, June 1st, was the busiest day as 209 union licenses were issued. On average, 30 same-sex couples entered into a union each day for the remainder of the month.

The pace for Illinois civil unions has slowed into this month, as only 125 couples obtained a civil union license through July 15, reports the Sun-Times. This is expected as the initial rush of couples who may have waited years to legally join together probably did so in early June.

The number of civil unions in Cook County account for over half the civil unions in Illinois. Equality Illinois, a gay and lesbian rights group, say that 1,618 civil union licenses were issued statewide.

Some other interesting statistics revealed by the Cook County Clerk are that women accounted for more civil union licenses than men. Lesbian couples accounted for over 51% of the license. Gay couples accounted for about 43%. The other 6% you ask? Opposite sex couples wanting to join together.

As we wrote earlier, older opposite sex couples may be interested in a civil union as opposed to marriage because a partner entering a civil union would not have to give up pension benefits from a deceased spouse. If a widow remarried, she would give up pension benefits from a deceased husband.

The first month of Illinois civil unions appears to be a smashing success. Here's hoping the unions are long and happy!

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