CHICAGO (AP) – Chicagoans Lakeesha Harris and Janean Watkins were first in line as Cook County began registering gay and lesbian couples for civil union licenses.

But they’ve been waiting much longer for many of the same legal rights as straight couples. They’ve been together for 10 years and
have six children.

The 36-year-old Harris says the license feels like “some sort of justice” for their family. Civil unions give couples many of the rights that accompany traditional marriage. That includes the power to decide medical treatment for an ailing partner and the right to inherit a partner’s property.

Hundreds of couples around Illinois were in line early Wednesday as the new law went into effect.

In southwestern Illinois’ St. Clair County, five couples were in line when the clerk’s office opened.

Copyright Associated Press.


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