The Illinois Senate today approved a civil unions bill by a 32-24 vote, after the House passed the measure earlier this week. The bill now moves to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk.
“Today, Illinois took an important step forward in providing a measure of protections to same-sex couples and their families — protections of particular importance in these tough economic times,” Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, said in a statement. “With this step in the right direction, Illinois rejected arguments against fair treatment for gay people and their loved ones and acknowledged that gay couples and families exist and have the same hopes and needs as other families.”
The bill, introduced by gay Rep. Greg Harris, would permit both same-sex and opposite-sex couples to enter into civil unions and receive the same benefits as straight married couples.