More than 800 in Cook County get civil unions in June

July 19, 2011

The Associated Press

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Robert Hunt (L) and Frank Baiocchi kiss after exchange vows during a civil union ceremony in Millennium Park.

Cook County couples rushed to use Illinois' new civil union law. 

The county clerk's office says 831 civil licenses were issued in June. That was the first month couples could get them.

A civil union gives gay couples in Illinois many of the same rights and legal benefits as heterosexual couples. Unmarried heterosexual couples also are eligible.

Cook County Clerk David Orr's office says more female couples - about 51.5 percent - applied for licenses compared to male partners, who made up about 43 percent of the licenses. About 5.5

percent of the couples who applied were heterosexual.

Most of the civil union licenses - about 65 percent – were granted to people who live in Chicago.

The office says licenses and other fees generated about $37,000 in revenue.