Governor Neil Abercrombie today signed into law the civil union bill making Hawai'i the seventh state in the nation to recognize civil unions. The bill signing ceremony took place this afternoon at Washington Place among key lawmakers and about 100 invited guests who helped move passage of the measure through the legislature.
"The legalization of civil unions in Hawai'i is long overdue," stated Governor Abercrombie. "People have worked long and hard work for this day. This is a prime example of exercising civic courage. It is about doing what is right, no matter how difficult, no matter how much opposition."
The bill signing ceremony was streamed live on the internet via the Governor's website (http://hawaii.gov/gov) and broadcast live on local news stations.
Governor Abercrombie added, "Civil unions respect our diversity, protect people's privacy, and reinforce our core values of equality and aloha."
Act 1 of the 2011 Legislative session will take effect on January 1, 2012. It extends the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities of spouses in a marriage to partners in a civil union.