equal rites

Hawaii Lets Its Rainbow Flag Fly

On Wednesday, Hawaii state legislators approved civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, and Governor Neil Abercrombie vowed to sign it into law. It was approved with an 18-5 vote. The bill allows all couples to enter into a civil union — a legal status with all the rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities as traditional marriage. A similar bill was passed last year, but then vetoed by then-Governor Linda Lingle.

I have always believed that civil unions respect our diversity, protect people’s privacy, and reinforce our core values of equality and aloha,” Abercrombie said in a statement. “For me this bill represents equal rights for all the people of Hawaii.”

Hawaii joins six other states in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The news thrilled Hawaii’s same-sex couples, and should help increase Hawaii’s already-booming tourism market.

Today Hawaii also appointed its first openly gay Supreme Court judge — Circuit Judge Sabrina McKenna. Double win!

Lawmakers confirm Hawaii’s first openly gay Supreme Court justice [KHON]
Hawaii lawmakers approve civil unions for gay couples [Reuters]

Hawaii Lets Its Rainbow Flag Fly