I've lived with my partner for 31 years and we obtained a civil union in 2011. Several months ago we went to our attorney to update our wills and powers of attorney. Because we are not legally married in the state of Illinois, we had to pay triple what a normal married couple would pay in order for the attorney to attempt to ensure that our wishes would be carried out in the event that one or both of us died. And even then he could not guarantee that they would because a civil union is not the same as a marriage. Is that fair?
All our lives together we have planned for our future and saved for retirement. However, in the event that one of us dies, the other is not entitled to the widow's benefits that are guaranteed to married couples. Is that fair?
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We are not asking for special rights. History has proved that separate but equal does not work. Only through marriage equality can we have the same rights that straight couples have. Please support House Bill 5170, the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.