Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will attend
a June 2 event celebrating the civil unions of 30 gay and lesbian
Illinois' new civil unions law comes
into force on June 1, but a one-day waiting period makes Thursday,
June 2 the first day couples can exchange vows. The state's law
gives gay couples most of the benefits of marriage.
The mass ceremony will take place in
Chicago's downtown Millennium Park and is being hosted by the city's
Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues,
the Chicago Tribune reported.
Lawmakers approved the legislation in
December and Quinn signed the bill into law in January.
The 30 couples will apply for their
civil unions licenses from the Cook County clerk's office on
Wednesday, June 1 and tie the knot the following day.
At the start of 2010, only New Jersey
offered the union after New Hampshire and Vermont upgraded gay
couples to marriage. Illinois, Hawaii and Delaware
have since joined in legalizing the union. A
similar bill in Colorado died in committee.
marriage advocates in Rhode Island are fuming over House Speaker
Gordon Fox's recent decision to back civil unions legislation over
marriage for gay couples.
Washington, California, Nevada and
Oregon grant similar benefits to gay couples with domestic