Gay and lesbian couples will be eligible to apply for civil union licenses in Illinois beginning Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.
Civil union ceremonies may be held one day after an application is approved, according to the AP. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the civil unions bill in January.
It's unclear how many couples may apply for civil union licenses beginning Wednesday, though dozens of couples are expected to wed Thursday in downtown Chicago at Millennium Park.
Last week Catholic Charities in Rockford announced it would suspend its state-funded adoption services -- a program that handles about 350 adoption and foster care cases each year in northern Illinois -- because church officials say it's unclear whether state law would require them to place children with parents who have a civil union, whether gay or heterosexual, according to the Chicago Tribune.
A Rockford diocese official said last week that requiring the church to place children with couples in civil unions would force the diocese to "participate in activity offensive to the moral teachings of the church."
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