Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions

Hi, Tim

I also will not perform any civil union cerimonies due to my religious believe.

Rev. Jofrey

Hawaii Civil Unions - What The Law Says


S.B. NO.



S.D. 1





SECTION 1. The intent of this measure is to recognize civil unions in Hawaii. By establishing the status of civil unions in our State, it is not the legislature's intent to revise the definition or eligibility requirements of marriage under chapter 572, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:



§ -1 Definitions. As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

"Agent" means the person or persons appointed as an agent or agents by the department of health pursuant to section 572-5.

"Civil union" means a union between two individuals established pursuant to this chapter.

"Partner" means an individual who is a party to a civil union established pursuant to this chapter.

§ ‑2 Eligibility to enter into a civil union. A person shall be eligible to enter into a civil union only if the person is:

(1) Not a partner in another civil union, a spouse in a marriage, or a party to a reciprocal beneficiary relationship pursuant to chapter 572C;

(2) At least eighteen years of age; and

(3) Not related to the other proposed partner in the civil union, as provided in section ‑3.

§ -3 Civil unions void; when. A civil union shall be void between the following persons: parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, two siblings, aunt and nephew, aunt and niece, uncle and nephew, uncle and niece, and persons who stand in relation to each other as ancestor and descendant of any degree whatsoever.

§ -4 Solemnization; license to perform; refusal to join persons in a civil union. (a) A civil union shall become valid only upon completion of a solemnization by a person licensed in accordance with this section.

(b) Any judge or retired judge, including a federal judge or judge of another state who may legally join persons in chapter 572 or a civil union, may solemnize a civil union. Any ordained or licensed member of the clergy may solemnize a civil union. Solemnization may be entirely secular or may be performed according to the forms and usages of any religious denomination in this State. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require any person authorized to perform solemnizations of marriages or civil unions to perform a solemnization of a civil union, and no such authorized person who fails or refuses for any reason to join persons in a civil union shall be subject to any fine or other penalty for the failure or refusal.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require any person authorized to perform solemnizations pursuant to chapter 572 or civil unions pursuant to this chapter to perform a solemnization of a civil union, and no such authorized person who fails or refuses for any reason to join persons in a civil union shall be subject to any fine or other penalty for the failure or refusal.

(d) No agent may solemnize a civil union; nor may any assistant or deputy of the agent solemnize a civil union.

(e) No person shall perform the solemnization of a civil union without first having obtained a license from the department of health. The department of health shall issue licenses to solemnize civil unions in the same manner as it issues licenses pursuant to chapter 572. The department of health may revoke or suspend a license to solemnize civil unions. Any penalties or fines that may be levied or assessed by the department of health for violation of chapter 572 shall apply equally to a person licensed to solemnize civil unions.

§ -5 Applicants for civil union; license required; limitations. (a) No persons may be joined in a civil union in this State unless both partners have:

(1) Met the requirements of section -2;

(2) Complied with sections -6 and, if applicable, section -7; and

(3) Been issued a license by an agent in the judicial circuit in which a civil union is to be solemnized or in which either person resides, which license shall bear the certification of the agent that the persons named therein have met the requirements of section -2 and have complied with sections -6 and, if applicable, section -7.

(b) The license, when certified by the agent, is sufficient authority for any person authorized to perform a civil union solemnization in this State to join the persons in a civil union; provided that the solemnization is performed not more than thirty days after the date of issuance. The license shall become void thirty days after issuance.

§ -6 Application for license for persons who wish to enter into a civil union; fee. (a) No license for a civil union may be issued by an agent until both applicants have appeared before the agent and applied for a license. The application for the license shall be completed in its entirety, dated, signed, and sworn to by each applicant and shall state each applicant's full name, date of birth, birthplace, residence, social security number, whether single, widowed, or divorced, and whether the applicant is under the supervision or control of a conservator or guardian. If the application is signed and sworn to by the applicants on different dates, the earlier date shall be deemed the date of the application. The agent shall issue a copy of this chapter to any person applying for a license.

(b) The fee for a license to enter into a civil union shall be an amount equal to the amount prescribed in section 572-5, and all amounts collected by the agent as application fees under this chapter shall be retained or remitted and apportioned in the same manner as prescribed in section 572-5.

§ -7 Persons under control of conservator or guardian. (a) No civil union license may be issued to any applicant under the supervision or control of a conservator or guardian, appointed in accordance with chapter 560, unless the written consent of the conservator or guardian is signed, notarized, and filed with the agent.

(b) Any person who enters into a civil union without the consent provided for in subsection (a) shall acquire no rights by that civil union in the property of any person who was under the control or supervision of a conservator or guardian at the time the civil union was entered into.

§ -8 Record of solemnization; reported by whom; affidavit; evidentiary weight of certificate or affidavit. (a) Each person who solemnizes a civil union shall certify upon the civil union license certificate the fact, time, and place of the solemnization of the civil union and return the license to the agent within three business days following the solemnization of the civil union, or as may otherwise be prescribed by the department of health.

(b) If any person who has solemnized a civil union fails to return the certificate to the agent as required under subsection (a), the partners joined in a civil union may provide the agent with a notarized affidavit attesting to the fact that they were joined in a civil union and stating the date and place of the solemnization of the civil union. Upon the receipt of that affidavit by the agent, the civil union of the partners shall be deemed to be valid as of the date of the solemnization of the civil union stated in the affidavit.

(c) The certificate required by subsection (a) or an affidavit received pursuant to subsection (b) shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.

§ ‑9 Benefits, protections, and responsibilities. Partners to a civil union lawfully entered into pursuant to this chapter shall have all the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities under law, whether derived from statutes, administrative rules, court decisions, the common law, or any other source of civil law, as are granted to those who contract, obtain a license, and are solemnized pursuant to chapter 572.

§ ‑10 Civil unions performed in other jurisdictions. All unions between two individuals not recognized under section 572-3 shall be recognized as civil unions; provided that the relationship meets the eligibility requirements of this chapter."

SECTION 3. Section 572-1.6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is repealed.

["[§572-1.6] Private solemnization not unlawful. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to render unlawful, or otherwise affirmatively punishable at law, the solemnization of same-sex relationships by religious organizations; provided that nothing in this section shall be construed to confer any of the benefits, burdens, or obligations of marriage under the laws of Hawaii."]

SECTION 4. A party to a civil union shall be included in any definition or use of the terms "spouse", "family", "immediate family", "dependent", "next of kin", and other terms that denote the spousal relationship, as those terms are used throughout the law.

SECTION 5. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.

SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2012.

Report Title:

Civil Unions


Extends the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities of spouses in a marriage to partners in a civil union. Takes effect 1/1/2012. (SD1)

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.

Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions

Aloha Tim,

If I am asked to serve I will be honored to provide a truly spiritual experience. Aloha accepts all.

Keoki (minister Maui)

Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions

yes, I will  the license will be different
from a marriage license, I understand, it
will require a minister from the couples
stand point to say the least, I perform 
ceremonies for a gay couple that has owned a
wedding company here for 15 years, and they
told me the ceremony will be exactly 
the same, but they will ask the couples how
they want to pronounced, that's it, no big
deal as far as I'm concerned. I haven't 
performed a ceremony myself, but have planned
and coordinated a few for gals. 
Bill (minister/coordinator Maui)

Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions


Yup. There are some questions.

Ceremonies aren’t required for regular marriages are they? All they need really is a signature technically I think. But since it isn’t a marriage, I don’t know. It is a legal union so I would think that a signature is required but then again, can’t they just file it like legal papers? Who knows.

Yeah, my ministers won’t do them. I’d have to find new ones.

I’m not sure about me yet. (photographer/ coordinator Oahu)

Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions


Yes I will be coordinating at civil unions. I do support same sex marriages and will be right by your side. I think the question is, have you found ministers that will do the ceremonies? Because if you are going to be doing many of these types of ceremonies and there aren't many ministers to choose from, they will need to be your main contact in these cases.

-Elizabeth (coordinator Maui)


Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions

Grand Wailea Resort

Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions

We are not set up for that.
I don't know.

A Paradise Dream Wedding

Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions

Thanks for sharing this, Tim. I believe Kolleen has (or shortly will) be looking into these concerns herself.

In regards #1 "ceremonies" have never been required, even for weddings, if a licensed officiant simply signs off on the paperwork for the couple. #2: I would assume (actually, guess) that there must be an
"authorized" someone (not the licensing agent) who has to sign off on the deal and send the completed paperwork to the State for processing, "just like weddings." We should have a firm answer on this soon, but if you find out first, pls lettuce know!

As to those who will not take advantage this new opportunity because of their beliefs, great, more biz for us! We have always been pro gay/human rights, and we are truly glad that the Aloha State is finally living up to its name. If this will enrage the religious community, so be it, it's "their cross to bear." (Hopefully they'll get over it.)

Thanks again, Tim,


Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions

Aloha Tim, (Long time)

Yes! Absolutely!

Mahalo nui...

With much aloha,
Rev. Barbara (Hawaii)

Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions

Hi Tim,
I just had a phone conversation with Mary at
the Marriage License office on Punchbowl St.   
She says,  1. Is a ceremony required?  YES
2. Is a minister's signature required?   YES
Yikes, It's pretty much the same as what's
involved with a marriage.
There's a lot about it in today's Honolulu Star
Advertiser...  "The law grants all couples 
regardless of sex the ability to enter into 
a civil union, a legal status with the rights
, benefits, protections and responsibilities 
of traditional marriage."
Right now I'm also learning about the concept
and what's involved.  Not sure where I stand
at this point, and glad I haven't had an 
inquiry as yet. I'm also relieved that this
doesn't go into effect until January 2, 2012. 
That's the first day the paper work can be done.
Thanks for asking Tim.
Tinker (coordinator Oahu)

Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions

Morning Tim..will be interesting... and no Al
will also not be performing them because of 
our religious belief... thanks for checking
Aloha Laurie & Rev. Al

Aloha Tim --
Thanks for passing on the Civil Unions info.
Yes, both Penei and I will be performing
Civil Unions, together and
individually as requested.
Rev. Dard

Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions

Aloha Tim...  Thanks for the email.
All of this is brand new with the signing by
the governor yesterday. The Department of Health
has not issued any notices about licensing for
civil unions at this time since it's just signed
and from my understanding, not going into effect
until January, 2012. My thinking is that everything
will be handled the same as a "regular" marriage
so the ceremony could be in front of a judge up 
to the full on ceremony with cake, champagne, etc.
I don't think that the marriage license agents 
will be able to just say that they are legally 
bound by doing the license, but you never know.
    Our company has done a couple of same-sex 
ceremonies that were not legal unions or 
marriages and they turned out fine.  
We utilized officiants who are fine with performing
ceremonies like these.  There are several on
the island that provide this service.
When the process of civil unions in Hawaii
is finalized, we'll most likely offer our location
and services.  We don't know how it's going to work,
until we get the rules.
Mahalo,  Kamika (Fern Grotto) 

Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions


Paradise Maui Weddings

Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions

You can count me in...I've done them before
and will continue to do  them...I need the
work things have been very slow here...
let me know if you need  a minister I 
have a contact that specializes
in Gay weddings...  Art (musician Oahu)

Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions

Aloha Tim,

Yes I'll do civil unions.
I don't care what someones religion is I try and treat everyone equal, and I feel this is really the same thing as discriminating the rights of someones religion.

Dan (videographer Maui)

Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions

Still up in the air
Rev. Kimo
Sent from my iPhone

Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions

Of course I will do Civil Unions. 
I've done quite a few Commitment Ceremonies
over the years. They are just like a wedding
ceremony only I leave out the parts where
'marriage' in mentioned and replace the words
with "Commitment"
Rev. Charlie

Results of Poll Re: Civil Unions

Tim, FOR SURE!! my religion (?) is based on tolerance and love. Steve.

Poll Regarding Civil Unions in Hawaii

The Civil Union bill has been signed by the Governor of Hawaii and is now law. Marriage license agents statewide will be issuing Civil Union licenses come January 1, 2012. In order to determine which vendors will be open to performing at, arranging, or photographing civil union ceremonies, we have conducted a poll. Here was the question:

Marriage license agents will be issuing Civil Union
licenses from marriage license offices 
statewide. I don't know what this means yet and
it brings up a lot of questions. Like:
1. Is a ceremony required?
2. Is a minister's signature required?
I have already been told by a few ministers
that they will NOT perform such ceremonies
because of their religious beliefs. I think
this thing is going to enrage the religious
community.  My question is, will you be 
performing Civil Unions? 
Here are the results we have received (above).



Hawaii is the 7th state in the U.S. to allow Civil Unions

(Forimmediaterelease.net) HONOLULU, HI – The Hawaii Tourism Association (HiTA) praises Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie for signing the Civil Union bill today in Honolulu. As the Governor said: “E Komo Mai - it means all are welcome. 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."

Civil Unions allow any two people regardless of gender or sexual orientation to share the same responsibilities and rights shared of married couples.

Hawaii is the 7th state in the U.S. to allow Civil Unions.

HiTA president Juergen T Steinmetz said: “Civil Unions are especially important to same-sex couples, and this sends a clear message to the world that Hawaii welcomes everyone - gay or straight - to visit our beautiful state.”

Steinmetz hopes this will encourage businesses in Hawaii to invest in more gay-friendly venues and encourage gay travelers from around the globe to select Hawaii as their vacation destination.

Hawaii is not only for those wanting to come to Hawaii to enter a Civil Union, it is for any traveler to understand that Hawaii is a melting pot of races and beliefs – everyone is welcome to visit, and everyone will have the time of their life enjoying the state’s beaches, mountains, restaurants, bars, night clubs, shopping, and cultural venues.

Aloha is tolerance, and this is a good day for the Aloha State.


The Hawaii Tourism Association’s (HITA) mission is to inform, educate, and update the global travel industry on current and emerging trends, economics, events, activities, businesses, and marketing that help shape the tourists’ perception of the Hawaiian Islands. HITA serves as a discussion forum for issues affecting industry members interested in doing business in Hawaii, while also working with new markets and regions expressing interest in visiting the Islands. The association offers member services that enhance the Hawaiian experience and promote the indigenous people, culture, and uniqueness which differentiates the most geographically-remote place on Earth from other island sand-sun-surf vacation and business destinations.