Feb 16, 2011

Civil Unions Approved in Hawaii

The Hawaii legislature today approved a civil union bill that would provide same-sex couples with the same rights and responsibilities enjoyed by opposite-sex married couples in the Rainbow State. Governor Abercrombie has said that he will sign the bill within the next ten days; if he does, it will take effect on January 1, 2012. 

This brings things full circle for Hawaii, which was the first state to have a court ruling that excluding same-sex couples from marriage was discriminatory and illegal. This case was one of the catalysts for the original Defense of Marriage Act, enacted in 1996, and for a lengthy backlash against same-sex marriage.