Civil Unions in Illinois

Governor Quinn signing the civil unions bill into law.

On December 1st, 2010, the Illinois Senate approved the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, after the Illinois House’s approval the previous day. Governor Quinn signed the legislation on January 30th, 2011. Beginning on June 1st,  the extensive and crucially important protections available by joining in a civil union will be available to all Illinois citizens.

This guide to civil unions will help you learn about this important legislation. Questions about how this law relates to your specific situation may require you to consult a lawyer. If you read through this website and still have questions about why you have been unable to obtain a civil union or why your civil union is not being treated the same as a marriage, then contact us:


By Phone: (312) 201-9740
(800) 572-1092 (inside Illinois only)
By Fax: (312) 201-9760
By Post: ACLU of Illinois Intake Department
180 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2300
Chicago, IL 60601


The fight for civil unions took many years, culminating in historic debates on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate. Download copies of:

You can also learn more about the history of this legislation at the ACLU of Illinois’ LGBT Rights page.