Illinois civil union law takes effect Wednesday reports that Illinois’ civil union law takes effect on Wednesday, June 1:

…The new law allowing civil unions takes effect Wednesday, propelling the state to the front lines of the nation’s continuing battle over same-sex relationships.


With the implementation of the law, Illinois becomes the 12th state to officially license same-sex relationships. It won’t be called marriage in Illinois, but most of the same rights will apply, at least on the state level. It also will be available to any opposite-sex couples who want certain benefits without marriage.

Illinois couples can buy their civil union licenses at their local county clerk’s offices, at the same cost as a marriage license. It’s $32 in St. Clair County and $30 in Madison County. As with marriages, they will have to wait at least a day before formalizing the union with a judge, retired judge or religious official.

Then it gets complicated.

The new law bestows on couples most of the state legal rights of married couples in health insurance, property and other areas. But the federal government and most other states don’t recognize same-sex partnerships, which will affect those couples on issues ranging from their federal taxes to out-of-state medical care.

The Diocese of Chicago clergy meet June 10 to hear from their task force. Documents with Guidelines and Liturgy were provided in advance of the meeting.

1. Guidelines for the Solemnization of Holy Union (pdf)

2. The Witnessing and Blessing of a Holy Union (pdf)

The Diocese of Springfield and the Diocese of Quincy are also in Illinois.

Why does the Episcopal Church care about this law? Read more here

C-056: General Convention resolution on pastoral generosity in states with marriage equality or civil partnerships and development of liturgies:

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 76th General Convention acknowledge the changing circumstances in the United States and in other nations, as legislation authorizing or forbidding marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian persons is passed in various civil jurisdictions that call forth a renewed pastoral response from this Church, and for an open process for the consideration of theological and liturgical resources for the blessing of same gender relationships; and be it further

Resolved, That the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, in consultation with the House of Bishops, collect and develop theological and liturgical resources, and report to the 77th General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, in consultation with the House of Bishops, devise an open process for the conduct of its work inviting participation from provinces, dioceses, congregations, and individuals who are engaged in such theological work, and inviting theological reflection from throughout the Anglican Communion; and be it further

Resolved, That bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church; and be it further

Resolved, That this Convention honor the theological diversity of this Church in regard to matters of human sexuality; and be it further

Resolved, That the members of this Church be encouraged to engage in this effort.

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