02/05/2011 12:28 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Lambda Legal Launches 'Illinois Civil Unions Tracker' To Ensure Equality

A group that litigates for the rights of LGBT and HIV-positive people has started an online system to safeguard the rights of people in civil unions.

Lambda Legal's new "Illinois Civil Union Tracker" is a way that couples -- straight and gay -- can discuss their experiences with civil unions, find answers to common questions, and get direct access to information about their new rights.

Based on the organization's experience in other states, it foresees that "many families will encounter difficulties in getting respect for their status as legally recognized families after the law goes into effect," said Camilla Taylor, senior staff attorney at the organization's Chicago office, in a press release. "Our goal is to help these families navigate Illinois' new legal landscape with as few challenges as possible."

Those seeking civil unions fill out a basic form at the tracker's website, and gain access to Lambda's online resources.

Governor Pat Quinn signed a law in January creating provisions for civil unions, but it won't go into effect until June 1, 2011.