Hawaii Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Civil Unions For Same-Sex Couples

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org HONOLULU – Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill today that legalizes civil unions for same-sex couples. The bill stops short of granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry, but grants committed same and different-sex couples the rights, responsibilities, benefits and protections that Hawaii law provides to married couples. The following can be attributed to Laurie Temple, staff attorney for the ACLU of Hawaii: “This bill has been a long time coming for committed couples in Hawaii who have been denied the basic right to take care of their families. While we continue to work to achieve the freedom to marry for all couples, we commend the legislature and Governor Abercrombie for taking a stand against baseless discrimination by passing this bill.” The following can be attributed to James Esseks, Director of the ACLU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Project: “With today’s historic action in Hawaii, we are closer to achieving the goal of fairness and dignity for all families. Across the nation, we are seeing steps toward providing committed couples with the security of knowing they can take care of each other, and that their relationships are recognized in the eyes of the law.”