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illinois civil union law - Chicago Illinois Family Law Blog

Equality Illinois Says State Civil Union Law a Failure

By Nottage and Ward on July 9, 2012

As experienced civil union attorneys in Illinois, the legal team at Nottage and Ward are well aware that there have been bumps in the road since the Illinois civil union law took effect in June 2011, but, according to, advocacy group Equality Illinois is going as far as to say that the Civil Union Act is a failure.

Since the civil union law took effect in June 2011, there have been a total of more than 5,000 civil unions granted in Illinois. The head of the gay rights advocacy group Equality Illinois followed the experiences of these civil union couples for one year. The results of this study revealed that “every area of law failed to provide full equality” as civil union couples were denied their rights, treated unequally, or even discriminated against.

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Anti-Gay Adoption Bill Shot Down by Civil Rights and LGBT Activists in Springfield

By Nottage and Ward on March 30, 2012

The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act grants the rights of traditionally married couples to civil union couples, including the right to adopt. This caused quite a bit of controversy when Catholic Charities refused to offer civil union adoption services to same-sex couples. Although Catholic Charities, which was publicly funded though a private religious organization, has since withdrawn from the legal battle to continue receiving state funds while reserving the right to refuse adoption services, it is not the end of the battle between religion, same-sex civil unions, and state law.

According to, a bill that would have amended the Civil Union Act to allow religion-based child welfare organizations to refuse adoption services to civil union couples was killed in Springfield by civil rights activist groups such as the Illinois ACLU and LGBT groups such as The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA). The bill, which was introduced in October, would have ultimately allowed religious adoption institutions to discriminate against lesbian and gay civil union couples. This bill is only one of several similar bills introduced since last year.

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