More than 3,700 couples in Illinois
have applied for a civil union license during the first six months
since the law took effect, ChicagoPride.com
“The large numbers of people getting
their civil unions is further evidence of how urgent these rights and
protections are,” said Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov.
“Every single one of these families, as well as thousands of
families whose relationships are already recognized, also deserve
federal protections and we must work to make that a reality.”
More than half (50.4%) of all licenses
were issued in Cook County, which includes Chicago, the third most
populous city in the United States.
Illinois' civil union law was approved
by lawmakers after years of intense lobbying from activists. It went
into effect on June 1.
A civil union law in Hawaii takes
effect on January 1. Three additional states – New Jersey,
Delaware and, most recently, Rhode Island have also legalized the
union. Other states, including Washington, Nevada and California,
offer similar protections through domestic partnerships.
Civil unions in Rhode Island have
attracted few buyers; only 39 couples had obtained licenses as of
last month, the AP reported. Rhode Island's law allows religious
organizations to refuse to recognize the union.