Civil union ceremonies held for Chicago couples

By the Associated Press | June 2, 2011 | 11:57 AM EDT

CHICAGO (AP) — Two Chicago men who have been a couple for 47 years are among the first to be joined in a civil union ceremony in Chicago's Millennium Park.

Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Evans presided over the ceremony for James Darby and Patrick Bova on Thursday. Evans wished the men a union filled with love and trust. He then pronounced them partners in civil union.

A new law came into effect on Wednesday permitting civil unions, but couples had to wait one day after collecting their licenses on before holding ceremonies.

The ceremonies for 32 couples at Millennium Park were hosted by the City of Chicago's Commission on Human Relations' Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues.