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Civil unions bill signed in Illinois

Timothy Kincaid

January 31st, 2011

Governor Pat Quinn has now signed Illinois’ civil unions bill into law:

Moments ago Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law the Illinois Religious Freedom and Protection and Civil Union Act at a signing ceremony in downtown Chicago. His signature represents a long-fought victory toward fairness for thousands of gay and lesbian couples in Illinois.

The law becomes effective on June 1st.

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Martin
January 31st, 2011 | LINK

Good, but notenough. Not portable across state lines, not necessarily recognized in places that allow SSM, and NOT MARRIAGE.

Rob San Diego
January 31st, 2011 | LINK

OMG is it really called that? That’s gayer then us? So what, in order for Illinoisans to get some basic rights, we have to be reminded of religious freedoms, like they have us by the balls or something? No shit really, like religious freedoms isn’t in the U.S. Constitution. (At this point writing this far I decide to look up the actuall bill and read it.)

OMG, did anybody actually read this bill? (as I scream off the top of my lungs and my head spins around,)YOU KNOW IT ONLY TOOK 14 WORDS TO TAKE AWAY MARRIAGE RIGHTS OF CALIFORNIANS? This thing reads like a novel! Most of it didn’t even make sense to me!

First it says they have the right to religious freedom. Again what, is that not in the U.S. Constitution? I mean did Illinoisans not have religious freedom? Were they being forced to follow a certain religion?

Next it’s nothing but, “you can do this, but you can’t do that!” And don’t even get me started about all their amendments, they basically said “well if we give you some rights, it won’t affect this or that.”

For example…

If we give you SOME rights it won’t impact housing prices or construction.

If we give you SOME rights it won’t impact hiring judges, but may increase court cases.

If we give you SOME rights it won’t impact pensions or the retirement system.

If we give you some rights, it won’t impact the fiscal of public health.

And my favorite… If we give you SOME rights, it won’t impact the budget of fiscal year 2008.

Wow, can they really spit in your eyes anymore? I mean I’m not saying that my state of California is any better, but I also just read the bill that gave us Domestic Partnerships and even though it much longer, it sounds a hell of a lot better than what they just passed in Illinois. Ours didn’t remind us just how much religion has us by the balls and hates us.

As happy as I am for them receiving some rights, I almost feel just as bad and sorry for them. (Just my opinion.)

Timothy Kincaid
February 1st, 2011 | LINK

Rob,

Our supporters have been making a point of including language that reassures religious people that their church won’t be forced to do anything.

Is it legally necessary? No. The constitution already protects them.

But it diffuses some of the fears and takes away that talking points from all but the most dishonest (who will say absolutely anything anyway).

And our supporters have also been giving the bills titles that point out the religious protections. It’s all about diffusing fear and lies. With NOM and FRC trying to scare them into believing that the gays were going to storm their church and take away their right to determine their rites, sometimes you have to give a lot of assurance.

As for the stuff you read about the budget of 2008 and housing prices, I’m not sure where you are getting that. Senate Bill 1716′s full text can be read here. Perhaps you read an analysis of the bill?

L. Junius Brutus
February 1st, 2011 | LINK

Rob: “OMG, did anybody actually read this bill? (as I scream off the top of my lungs and my head spins around,)YOU KNOW IT ONLY TOOK 14 WORDS TO TAKE AWAY MARRIAGE RIGHTS OF CALIFORNIANS? This thing reads like a novel! Most of it didn’t even make sense to me! ”

That’s not really a problem with the law. The important thing is that it does what it supposed to do: give same-sex couple every single state right that other couples have.

Rob San Diego
February 1st, 2011 | LINK

This is where I got the amendments Timothy.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=1826&GAID=9&DocTypeID=HB&LegId=30661&SessionID=51

As I mentioned, I’m very happy for them, I feel very strongly about the wording on this just as you did in your article titled “Why the word “marriage” matters” where you went on about the bill in Hawaii that makes an obvious point that we are inferior to heteros.

L. Junius Brutus said “That’s not really a problem with the law. The important thing is that it does what it supposed to do: give same-sex couple every single state right that other couples have.”

If that is the case then all it has to say is “2 people of the same sex shall have some of rights and responsibilities of married couples, only it will be called a civil union and not marriage.”

Timothy Kincaid
February 2nd, 2011 | LINK

Rob,

That is HB 1826, from the 2007-2009 session, which did not pass. And, incidentally, what you were reading were assessments of the bill, not the language of the bill. The bill itself can be read by selecting House Amendment Number 4 (navigating these legislative websites is more than a little tricky).

The bill that the Governor signed was SB 1716. Read it.

If that is the case then all it has to say is “2 people of the same sex shall have some of rights and responsibilities of married couples, only it will be called a civil union and not marriage.”

Actually, what it does say is:

Protections, obligations, and responsibilities. A party to a civil union is entitled to the same legal obligations, responsibilities, protections, and benefits as are afforded or recognized by the law of Illinois to spouses, whether they derive from statute, administrative rule, policy, common law, or any other source of civil or criminal law.

It also defines its terms, notes who is qualified for a civil union, and lays out the procedures (who is responsible for preparing or filing the forms, etc.) but it avoids all discussion of “protecting marriage” and the rest.

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