On January 31, 2011, Roberto Sanabria, Ricardo Jimenez and Juan Calderon attended the Illinois Civil Unions signing/reception. For the first time in Illinois history, gay and lesbian couples will be afforded many of the same rights as their married counterparts under landmark legislation signed into law. Illinois is now the sixth state to recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. Another five states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage. Gov. Pat Quinn signed Illinois’ sweeping new legal protections Monday afternoon before a jubilant standing-room crowd at the Chicago Cultural Center.