It was a historic day for the state of Hawaii on Wednesday, as Governor Neil Abercrombie signed into law the civil union bill… making Hawaii the seventh state in the nation to recognize civil unions.
“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 took place at Washington Place in front of a crowd of media, key lawmakers and about 100 invited guests.
The moment was streamed live on the internet via the Governor’s website and broadcast live on local news stations.
Last July, Governor Linda Lingle decided to veto the legislation, saying the decision was too big to be made by any one person.
However, the public would not have the chance to vote on the matter, as the state legislature took up the bill as their first act of the 2011 session.
Now that the moment has finally arrived, partners will have to exhibit a little more patience. The law 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.