Marriages vs. civil unions: Similar, not identical (Chicago Tribune)
Illinois lawmakers have approved civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, and Gov. Pat Quinn says he'll sign the measure into law.
Civil unions would provide many of the benefits of marriage but not all of them. The chief difference is that the federal government doesn't recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions, so federal programs treat gay partners as if they are completely unrelated.
Complete article at Chicago Tribune : http://bit.ly/fcR7H2