By now, you may know that the legislative session ended on Sunday evening without a final vote in the Illinois House of Representatives on establishing fairness lesbian and gay couples in our state through the adoption of civil unions. While we are disappointed that the measure did not progress to the Illinois Senate, and ultimately to the Governor, some progress was made during this difficult and historic session.

We saw an increase during the past few months in the number of state representatives who were willing to express their full and public support for the civil union measure. This is due in no small measure to the hard work of our lobbyists in Springfield, Mary Dixon and James Ferg-Cadima, and the hundreds of ACLU of Illinois members who took the time to write letters, send e-mail messages, place telephone calls and visit the offices of their state representative pointing out the fundamental importance of this proposal. We are closer today to reaching fairness for our friends, our neighbors, our colleagues and our family members in gay and lesbian relationships than we were in January - despite the distractions caused by the impeachment and removal of a sitting government and a fierce debate over tax increases and budget deficits.

Our fight for fundamental fairness goes on, and we look forward to the day when equality and fairness is written into these policies and all families in our state enjoy the same, critical legal protections. To that end, we will be back in touch with you - sooner, rather than later - with plans for a push aimed at securing passage during the November "veto" session of the legislature.

Thank you again for all your support and your help,

Jill