Gay Civil Unions Legal in Hawaii, Delaware

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The new year also brought in new state laws granting civil unions between homosexual couples in the states of Hawaii and Delaware.

Four same-sex couples held civil ceremonies one hour into 2012 after the unions became legal in Hawaii.

The Aloha State also gives homosexual couples joined through civil unions the same rights as heterosexuals, although the federal government and other states do not have to recognize the unions.

Delaware also held its first same-sex civil union ceremony on New Year's Day, the first day same-sex civil unions became legal in Delaware.

Lisa Goodman and Drewry Fennell, both attorneys, were joined by Rev. Patricia Downing before 400 onlookers.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., delivered a sermon, and Lt. Gov. Matt Denns read scripture at the lesbian couple's ceremony.

The civil union ceremony took place at Trinity Episcopal Church.

Same-sex marriage is legal in Washington, D.C. and Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York.

Five states recognize same-sex civil unions: Hawaii, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

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