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Thursday, April 14, 2011 03:21 pm

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Get ready, ‘cause as of June 1 everything changes, says Buff Carmichael, local LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) advocate who is helping to organize a legal information session for same-sex couples. On June 1, Illinois’ new law allowing civil unions for same- and opposite-sex couples becomes effective.

The legal workshop, to be held Tuesday, April 26, will feature lawyer and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) board member Jill Metz, who will discuss what Illinois’ new law means in terms of protecting a loved one. Topics will include medical and financial powers of attorney, wills and joint possession.

Carmichael says Metz spoke in Springfield several years ago about similar topics. “She will be covering that again, but keep in mind, everything changes on June 1 when Illinois’ civil unions law goes into effect, so everything she told us before, it needs to be modified. This is really a sequel to that event,” Carmichael says, adding that the session will be useful to same-sex couples even if they choose not to enter into a civil union.

The session will start at 6 p.m. at First Church of the Brethren, 2115 Yale Boulevard, and last about two hours. The free workshop is sponsored by The Coalition of Rainbow Alliances, American Civil Liberties Union, First Church of the Brethren, Heartland Metropolitan Community Church and the Phoenix Center.
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