Civil Unions Will Ring In The New Year: Gay Marriage In Hawaii

Since February 23, when Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed the civil unions bill into law the State Health Department has been creating and implementing their online application process for couples who wish to take advantage of the new law.  KHON reported on a story about the first official civil unions that will happen here in Hawaii beginning January 1.KHON talked to Tambry Young and Suzanne King, members of the Civil Union in Hawaii 2012 Planning Committee, who are helping four couples plan their New Year’s DayCivil unions are not the same as marriage, although they are still legally binding and provide many of the same benefits that married couples across the country are currently enjoying.Tambry Young and Suzanne King were married in 2009 in Massachusets, and starting on January 1st Hawaii will recognize their thirty year relationship. The news outlet reports that other state agencies have been updating their policies in order to make sure that civil union couples have the same rights as heterosexual married couples.King told KHON that as part of the process to obtain their civil union in Hawaii her name would be legally changed to Suzanne Young effective January 1st. King is excited and said “That’s pretty awesome”.The couple was forced to terminate their reciprocal benefits agreement before the state would recognize their partnership as a civil union.Visit the Health Departments website where you’ll find a frequently asked questions page that will answer any questions you may have about obtaining your civil unions, and The Civil Union in Hawaii 2012 Planning Committee has urged people to come to them with any questions or concerns.King and Young, who will become “the Youngs” on January 1st, are very excited about the more recent developments for the gay and lesbian community across the country, and Young told KHON that “I think everybody’s realizing that this is the next step in our evolution to get full equality and I think everyone’s taking it serious.”

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