On January 1, 2008, New Hampshire became the fourth state in the United States to recognize same-sex civil unions when the state's legislation took effect. The law allows same-sex couples to enter into civil unions with the "same rights, responsibilities, and obligations as married couples." The legislation was signed into law by New Hampshire Governor John Lynch in May 2007. Currently, six additional US states grant civil unions, including Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. Similar legislation and lawsuits have addressed the issue of civil unions in several other states, such as Rhode Island, Hawaii, Illinois and Wisconsin.