[JURIST] Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie (D) [official profile] signed [official pres release] the same-sex civil unions bill [SB 232 text, PDF] into law on Wednesday, legalizing same-sex civil unions [JURIST news archives] in the state. The legislation will go into effect on January 1, 2012, and extends the same rights, benefits, protections and responsibilities of spouses in a marriage to partners in a civil union. At the signing, Abercrombie said, "[t]he legalization of civil unions in Hawai’i is long overdue….