AINA HAINA, Hawaii -- Four Honolulu couples became the first to enter into civil unions in Hawaii under a new law that took effect with the New Year. The ceremony was held at a private residence in Aina Haina attended by about 90 people.
Organizers and supporters of civil unions said the night was a long time coming. "You can talk to some folks that are at this event tonight and they can tell you from '91 and from even before then, Hawaii really has been pivotal in the country, not even just in the state but in the country for supporting equality throughout the decades, so it's just really exciting to be a space in celebration finally again," said Tara O'Neill of Pride Alliance Hawaii, which was part of the Civil Unions in Hawaii 2012 Committee.
"A lot of organizing. Of course a lot of lobbying meeting with legislators. A lot of media. All leading up to this day," said Tambry Young of Citizens for Equal Rights, which also was a committee member.
"It represents the culmination of almost 20 years of an effort to achieve equality in Hawaii," said guest Valerie Smith, co-chair of Equality Hawaii. "It's one step close to full marriage equality."
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