June 8, 2012 at 11:58 am EDT | by Phil Reese
Equality Illinois: Civil unions not working
Greg Harris, gay news, Washington Blade

Gay Illinois Assembly member Greg Harris authored the state’s civil unions law, which advocates now say doesn’t go far enough.

CHICAGO — Equality Illinois this week released the results of a study of the state’s one-year-old civil unions law, concluding the law failed to provide same-sex couples with adequate rights and protections in comparison to marriage.

The Equality Illinois findings show the nearly 5,000 couples that took advantage of the unions faced unequal treatment when filing for taxes, obtaining health insurance, buying a house and even getting a civil union license in some parts of the state, according to LGBT site Chicago Phoenix. Couples also reported difficulty with such small issues as picking up or dropping off prescriptions for a sick spouse at pharmacies.

Many reported individuals and institutions unfamiliar with the scope of the law denied service to these couples based on the fact that the couples were still not married.

“As we feared, civil unions have not turned out to be equal to civil marriages,” Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, said in a statement. “In area after area, couples were either treated unequally or denied their rights. As we learned in history, separate does not make equal.”


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