More Than 1,600 Civil Union Licenses Issued

Friday, Jul 8, 2011  |  Updated 7:02 AM CDT
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Tears, cheers and hugs erupted as couples from the recently engaged to partners of 47 years showed of their licenses.

Lauren Jiggets, Maria Ruiz

Tears, cheers and hugs erupted as couples from the recently engaged to partners of 47 years showed of their licenses.

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A group that advocates for gay and lesbian rights has declared Illinois' new civil unions law a success.

Equality Illinois reports that 1,618 civil union licenses were issued across the state in June — the first month civil unions became available to Illinois couples.

Civil unions give couples many of the rights that accompany traditional marriage. That includes the right to inherit a partner's property.

Hundreds of couples around Illinois were in line at county offices early morning on the first day the law went into effect — June 1.

Equality Illinois says 83 of the state's 102 counties reported issuing at least one or more licenses.

Its numbers are not official. But the group said it contacted clerks in each county to compile the figures.

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