Civil unions. State law in Hawaii gives couples in a civil union the same rights, benefits, and legal responsibilities as married couples (HI Rev. Stat. Sec. 572B-1 et seq.). A "civil union" under the act is defined as the union between two individuals under the law.
To be eligible to enter into a civil union, individuals must:
• Not be a partner in another civil union, a spouse in a marriage, or a party to a reciprocal beneficiary relationship;
• Be at least 18 years of age; and
• Not be related to each other as parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, siblings, aunt or uncle and nephew or niece, or in any relation as ancestor and descendant of any degree.
Officials authorized to certify civil unions include any judge or retired judge, or any ordained or licensed member of the clergy. The state Department of Health has authority to license an individual to perform civil unions.
Under the law, a civil union partner is 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 state laws.
Couples must obtain a civil union license from an agent in the judicial circuit in which a civil union is to be solemnized or in which either person resides. The license authorizes an official or other authorized person to perform a civil union ceremony. The license is certified by the person officiating the ceremony and returned to the agent.