(USA) - Legislation that would create civil unions in Illinois has been introduced in the state Senate. The bill, filed by Sen. David Koehler (D) would include both same and opposite-sex couples. It is similar to legislation filed last year in the House by Rep. Greg Harris (D). That version has been approved by committee but has not been scheduled for a vote by the full House. Koehler acknowledges that the legislation is bound to encounter opposition from 'social conservative' groups and Republicans. The legislation would also recognize same sex marriages and civil unions from other states as civil unions in Illinois. Civil unions currently are legal in New Jersey, Vermont and Connecticut. Same-sex marriage is available only in Massachusetts, although legislation has been filed in Maryland and next week the California Supreme Court will consider Gay marriages.