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Civil unions clear Illinois legislature

By The CNN Wire Staff
The bill that passed Wednesday in Illinois will give same-sex couples many of the same rights as married couples.
The bill that passed Wednesday in Illinois will give same-sex couples many of the same rights as married couples.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The bill is expected to be signed by the governor
  • It gives heterosexual and same-sex couples many of the same rights as married couples
  • The measure addresses wills, financial assets and end-of-life decisions
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(CNN) -- Illinois' state Senate approved legislation Wednesday that will give same-sex couples many of the same rights as married couples.

The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act defines "civil union" as a legal relationship between two people of either the same or opposite sex.

According to the language of the bill, it will provide "adequate procedures for the certification and registration of a civil union and provide persons entering into a civil union with the obligations, responsibilities, protections, and benefits afforded or recognized by the law of Illinois to spouses."

Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, pledged in his recent re-election campaign to sign the bill.

The state House approved the measure Tuesday.

The legislation deals with the rights of couples regarding wills, shared financial assets, end-of-life decisions and visitation of a critically ill partner.

CNN's Kara Devlin and Bill Mears contributed to this report.

 
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