On July 6, 2010, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle vetoed legislation that would have allowed same-sex civil unions in the state. The bill, which would have conferred upon homosexual and heterosexual couples rights and benefits equal to those afforded married couples in the state, was approved by the state House of Representatives that April and by the Senate in January. In the statement announcing her veto Lingle said that she felt that the bill was "essentially marriage by another name." She also indicated that the issue should be voted on in a public referendum. Similar legislation was passed again in 2011, which was signed into law by Lingle's successor, Governor Neil Abercrombie and will go into effect on January 1, 2012.
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