By Kaprice Sanchez, Reporter
Illinois became the sixth state in the U.S., along with the District of Columbia, to allow gay civil unions.
The bill passed the State House of Representatives by a vote of 61-52 and has been sent to the State Senate. If the Senate votes to legalize civil unions, the bill goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has promised to sign it into law. It would go into effect in June 2011.
Math teacher and Gay-Straight Alliance advisor Sharon Beck said the bill was long time coming.
“There is more than one way to create a happy, healthy family,” she said.
If the bill passes, it will allow same-sex couples the same protections under state law that married couples receive. A civil union does not allow couples to get federal benefits and does not legalize gay marriage in Illinois.
“I’m nervous if people are going to start fights and debates about it, but it will be exciting because same-sex couples have been waiting for something like this to come up and it finally has,” junior and GSA secretary Jake Rosko said.