As we all watched gay and lesbian couples celebrate Illinois’ civil union victory last June, the sense of progress was palpable. We know that the fight to ensure those couples and their families are treated fairly is not over.
House Bill 4724 – The Illinois Family Medical Leave Act – would ensure that parties to a civil union are able to take unpaid leave to care for a new child, or when a family member is ill, just as heterosexual married couples are able to under the federal Family Medical Leave Act.
It’s only fair. This small change would mark a significant step forward for gay and lesbian couples who are in a civil union. And it is indeed a small change: HB 4724 would not create an additional burden for employers, as they are already required to provide this benefit to couples under Federal Law.