So awhile back on this blog I went to Springfield to lobby for Civil Unions. You’ll notice in the post that my argument for CU was largely “it changes the map”. And look! Look at the map! Now Illinois also gets to be shaded in (lightly).
Yep, the Illinois law takes effect June 1, which totally coincidentally and not on purpose means that our marriage gets recognized as a civil union in Illinois. We don’t have to file any extra paperwork or register or anything. Just as Illinois automatically understands that straight marriages performed elsewhere are marriages, now they’ll grant that gay marriages performed elsewhere (and civil unions performed in other civil-uniony states) are civil unions.
There’s mixed reaction to this news. On the whole, it’s a positive step. Politically, it changes the map. Practically, it offers a lot more security for couples and families. Personally, it helps me get better health insurance!
On the other hand, it is a newly invented classification to keep same-sex couples out of traditional marriage. It offers an equivalent system of legal rights and benefits under a big sign that says “You’re Still Too Different From Us”. So, if Lindsey and I weren’t getting married in Iowa, we probs wouldn’t be getting civil unioned in Illinois*. We don’t have shared property or frail health or children or much else to make the incentives of civil unions worth the annoyance of them existing. Not too mention civil unions are sooo five years ago. Marriage equality is in this spring.
*Btw, you can read about our and other couples’ feelings on this matter in the June 9 issue of TimeOut Chicago. They’re doing a story on just this topic.
As always, you can help change this! If you’re in Chicago, you should come to the Rally to Repeal DOMA on Saturday June 11. It’s in Boystown, so you can support some community engagement before going out for different community engagement. Also, slim chance I might be speaking at the rally. So it might also be an excellent chance to see me be really, really nervous.
And if you’re not in Chicago, people do this everywhere. Find them and get involved.