After the Hawaii state Senate passed a civil unions bill 18-5 last week, Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) has signed the bill into law. Civil unions will be available to gay couples from the start of 2012.
"This signing today of this measure says to all in the world that all are welcome," said Gov. Abercrombie, "that everyone is a brother and a sister in paradise."
The LGBT community welcomes Hawaii on its grand step towards full marriage equality, although make no mistake: the work is not over, as gay couples still cannot get married in the state and even if they could, DOMA Section 3 (which the DOJ is no longer defending in court) prevents those gay couples from receiving federal rights.
Regardless, today is a good day for Hawaii, for the LGBT community, and for all Americans. We should celebrate this progress, and prepare for the next step: full marriage equality for all Hawaiians.
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