Hawaii Gay Lesbian Civil Union Guide > Facts About Civil Unions in Hawaii > Will a same-sex couple’s marriage, civil union, or registered domestic partnership from another state be recognized as a civil union in Hawaii?
Please note: This provides general information, not legal advice. Entering a civil union will be a major step because the law provides all spousal rights and obligations under Hawaii law to civil union partners. Yet, you may still need wills, powers of attorney, second parent adoptions, and other legal documents to protect you, especially when traveling. You should consult an attorney about your needs. Long-term couples and those with significant property especially should get advice about possible tax consequences and ways to protect pre-civil union property.
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The law provides that "all unions” couples have entered in other jurisdictions that are not recognized as marriages in Hawaii shall be treated as civil unions, as long as those unions were validly entered, the couple meets the requirements for a Hawaii civil union, and the union can be documented.
For example, if a same-sex couple entered a valid marriage in Massachusetts, meets Hawaii’s civil union requirements, and can document their marriage, they will be recognized as civil union partners in Hawaii. Because the law is still developing, we expect further guidance in the future about the out-of-state unions recognized as civil unions in Hawaii. When in doubt, consult an attorney.