Gay Marriage – Civil Unions Come to Hawaii After Long battle

Lawmakers in Hawaii, one of the earliest battlegrounds for same-sex marriage two decades ago, on Wednesday gave final approval to a civil unions bill that will make the Aloha State the seventh in the nation to grant gay and lesbian couples rights equivalent to marriage.
And just before the civil unions vote, the state Senate confirmed the first openly gay member of the Hawaii Supreme Court, the same body whose 1993 ruling almost legalized same-sex marriage and led to passage of the nation’s first constitutional amendment banning the practice.

Thanks to the new Governer of Hawaii, gay unions  will become a reality very soon!

The Hawaii Senate  passed the civil union bill 18-5. Governor Neil Abercrombie has indicated he will sign the bill, which passed the House last week.

Gov. Abercrombie said: “I have always believed that civil unions respect our diversity, protect people’s privacy, and reinforce our core values of equality and aloha.”

“I appreciate all the time and effort invested by those who shared their thoughts and concerns regarding civil unions in Hawaii. This has been an emotional process for everyone involved, but that process is now ended. Everyone has been heard; all points of view respected.

“For me, this bill represents equal rights for all the people of Hawaii,” Abercrombie said.

In July, Hawaii’s then-Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a similar bill, saying the issue needed to be put to a referendum. Gay rights groups decried her decision.

Five states and the District of Columbia issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Hawaii will join New Jersey in allowing civil unions.

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The  largest hotel in all of Hawaii serving the gay and lesbian community!

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