On January 31, 2011, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill legalizing same-sex civil unions in the state. The Illinois Religious Freedom and Civil Union Act provides "adequate procedures for the certification and registration of a civil union" and grants "persons entering into a civil union with the obligations, responsibilities, protections, and benefits afforded or recognized by the law of Illinois to spouses." Additionally, it allows religious institutions within the state to choose whether to observe or officiate over such unions. The law took effect on June 1, 2011. The Illinois legislature had previously approved the bill in December 2010. Illinois was the seventh US jurisdiction to legalize same-sex civil unions.
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