The two couples were among scores of same-sex partners across the state who began celebrating before dawn Wednesday as they lined up to apply for civil union licenses under a new Illinois law that recognizes them as couples for the first time.
Signed by Gov. Pat Quinn in January, the law gives gay and lesbian couples — and straight ones who choose civil unions — many of the rights and legal protections already afforded in traditional marriage. Those include the power to decide medical treatment for an ailing partner and the right to inherit a partner's property.
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