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illinois civil union statistics | Chicago Illinois Family Law Blog

Solidarity Leads Heterosexual Couples to Choose Civil Unions over Marriage in Illinois

By Nottage and Ward on December 29, 2011

The first six months after the passing of the civil union law in Illinois resulted in the issuance of 1,856 civil union licenses in Cook County. Just over 3,700 civil union licenses were issued across the state for couples throughout 90 of the state’s 102 counties According to the Chicago Sun-Times, 138 of Cook County licenses were issued to heterosexual couples, which presents an important question: Why would heterosexual couples choose to enter into a civil union instead of a marriage?

A recent report from the Cook County Clerk reveals the answer, according to The Huffington Post. The report, which was released on December 20, found solidarity with same-sex couples as the number one reason why opposite-sex couples opted for a civil union instead of a traditional marriage. A survey conducted by the clerk’s office revealed that 87 heterosexual couples registered for civil unions in Cook County during the survey period of June 1 through September 19. Twenty-six percent of those who took the survey stated that their decision was based on “political or ideological reasons such as equality and inclusiveness.” Additional reasons included obtaining benefits and personal or religious convictions.

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Research Reveals Relationship Recognition Patterns of Same-Sex Couples

By Nottage and Ward on November 23, 2011

The Williams Institute, located at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, is a “national think tank” which advances sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy through independent research. It’s most recent research study, released this month, has identified patterns of relationship recognition by same-sex couples throughout the U.S. and came to some interesting conclusions.

According to the research study, 19 states and the District of Columbia have implemented new laws that extend legal relationship recognition to same-sex couples since 1997, either by marriage, state-registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or limited-rights statuses. Illinois very recently joined this list of states after implementing its civil union law in June. Each type of legally recognized relationship carries different rights and responsibilities. The analysis of same-sex couples who have taken advantage of such laws revealed the following:

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