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|[Video] Hawaii governor signs civil union law|
|Written by Ryan Watkins|
|Thursday, 24 February 2011 11:57|
Yesterday, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law a bill legalizing civil unions for the state's same-sex couples. In doing so, Hawaii became the seventh state to enact civil union legislation for same-sex couples.
Hawaii's state Senate voted to pass the legislation by a 19 to 6 margin, while the House voted 31 to 19.
According to Hawaiian ABC affiliate KITV, the law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2012, though equality advocates in the state are already celebrating.
"I don't know what to say. Finally, Hawaii becomes the aloha state once again," said civil unions supporter Kamuela Kaahanui.
"I feel that it was such a privilege that it was his [Abercrombie's] actual first bill that he signed as governor," said supporter Cocoa Chandalier.
"It's about time. It's required convincing and putting aside the fears of hundreds of thousands of people in Hawaii," said civil unions supporter Hannah Miyamoto.
A similar measure made it through both the state House and Senate last year, but then-Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, vetoed the bill, saying at the time it was “essentially marriage by another name.”
See a video of the signing ceremony below:
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