For Immediate Release                   Contact:        Rick Garcia
September 3, 1997                                       773-244-3371


OAK PARK, Illinois -- Oak Park Illinois will be the first city in
Illinois to register same-sex couples.  With a vote of 5-2 the Board of
Trustees of the Village of Oak Park, IL established a domestic
partnership registry for same-sex couples.

"Oak Park's recognition of same-sex couples is a major victory for the
gay community in Illinois.  It provides a modicum of equal treatment for
gay and lesbian citizens of Oak Park," said Rick Garcia, director of the
Illinois Federation For Human Rights.  "Oak Park Trustees have sent the
message that they respect and value all residents of Oak Park and they
support family units whatever their makeup."

The registry confers no benefits and establishes stringent criteria for
couples to qualify.  Only same-sex couples may register because, unlike
their heterosexual counterparts, they are forbidden to marry under
Illinois law.

Supporters suggested that the ordinance was a matter of fairness and
would officially recognize families and relationships that currently are
not recognized.  Opponents suggested that the ordinance undermines the
Judeo-Christian tradition and would destroy the family.

"This registry will recognize valid and valued relationships and will
strengthen families - all families," said Garcia.  "Opponents of the
registry based their opposition on anti-gay attitudes. Bigotry is always
vile.  It is especially vile when it masquerades as virtue."


The Illinois Federation For Human Rights is a statewide organization
that was founded to secure, protect and defend the basic civil rights of
sexual minorities in Illinois.