Civil unions for same-sex couples would be allowed in Illinois under historic legislation the state Senate swiftly sent today to Gov. Pat Quinn, who is expected to sign the measure. The bill would give gay couples the chance to enjoy several of the same rights as married couples, ranging from legal rights on probate matters to visiting a partner in a hospital that won’t allow anyone but relatives into a patient’s room.
The Catholic Church, the GOP, and all the usual suspects on the religious right vehemently opposed allowing gay people to visit their ill and dying partners—remember that the next time someone tells you that opponents of marriage equality just want to protect ye olde definition of marriage—the "traditional" definition of marriage straight people don't hold themselves to anymore (marriage is defined only by monogamy and procreation and Jesus when gay people want to get married)—and that gay people should just be reasonable and settle for civil unions. Because, you see, if gay people would just settle for civil unions, then we'd be leaving ye olde definition of marriage alone and then religious conservatives wouldn't be so upset and then this whole issue would just go away. But the enemies of marriage equality have demonstrated over and over again that they oppose any legal recognition of the rights of same-sex couples, period—marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships. They're not really interested in defending marriage. They're interested in marginalizing and attacking queers.
And as for this asshole...
Sen. Chris Lauzen, R-Aurora, questioned, “Why civil unions now?” when the state reels from high unemployment, home foreclosures, a huge state debt and social services in disarray. “We are the incompetence laughing stock of government mismanagement and misplaced priorities, and our one-party (Democratic) leadership spends our time on homosexual civil unions."
The legislature in Illinois cranked out a steady stream of non-binding resolutions and all manner of piddling, minor legislation this year without Sen. Lauzen objecting on the grounds that the state has more important, pressing matters to attend to. Earlier this year, to take one example, the Illinois state legislature passed a law making it legal for "a funeral director or his or her designee [to] direct traffic during a funeral procession" if there aren't any cops around to help out. That law—which took nearly a year to make its way through the bowels of the legislature and was subject to more than 50 hearings, markups, readings, etc.—did nothing to address unemployment, foreclosures, state debt, etc., but no complaints from Sen. Lauzen about the state wasting its time on something so trivial as who gets to direct traffic during funeral processions while the state reels from the effects of this recession.
Sen. Lauzen doesn't object to the civil unions on the grounds that the state has more important things to do. The senator objects to civil unions because he's a bigot—but he's a bigot who lacks the courage of his own bigoted convictions and won't come out and say that he opposes civil unions because he's a bigot. Which makes him a coward as well as a bigot.