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Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie made history today when he signed a law legalizing civil unions in his state. Hawaii becomes the seventh state to offer same-sex couples the full legal protections and rights as married heterosexual couples.

From the Star-Advertiser:

Less than a year after seeing the push for civil unions vetoed, gay rights advocates cheered as Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law a bill legalizing civil unions and making Hawaii the seventh state to grant such privileges to same-sex couples.

Abercrombie signed the legislation at a ceremony today at historic Washington Place.

“E Komo Mai: It means all are welcome,” Abercrombie said in remarks before signing the bill into law. “This signing today of this measure says to all of the world that they are welcome. That everyone is a brother or sister here in paradise.”

“The legalization of civil unions in Hawaii represents in my mind equal rights for all people,” he said.

The ceremony was broadcast live on television and the Internet as Abercrombie, a Democrat who campaigned on a promise to sign the bill if it reached his desk, reversed the decision made by his Republican predecessor.

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