Gay Couples Celebrate New Year With Civil Unions

 UPDATED 4:25 AM HST Jan 05, 2012
HONOLULU -

Final decorations are going up at a Hawaii Kai home to celebrate as four local couple?s day "I do" in the state's first civil union's ceremony. Tambry Young and wife Suzanne King are helping coordinate the weddings.

"It?s been a long time coming. The four couples that are going to be doing the ceremony are very excited. We've been working with them. We talked to them this morning, we've gone through the whole ceremony and they are ready to do this," said Young.

For years Young and King advocated for civil unions, tonight they'll reflect on the journey as they ring in the New Year.

"Even though we are married, would we have liked to be one of the couples but we kind of stepped back and we said we feel so honored to have been able to plan this," said Young.

Alan Spector and Jon Paul Bingham are spending a quieter New Year's Eve at their Kaneohe residence. The couple legally married in 2005, and helped secure the civil unions law, while facing adversity up until the final hours, when a lawsuit attempted to derail the law.

"We are certainly grateful that a judge saw it for what it was and is allowing civil unions to proceed as planned," said Spector, with Equality Hawaii.

Spector and Bingham said in the last couple of years, they've seen public opinion change to support equality among gays and lesbians. The two said they'll toast to gay couples gaining legal rights but say they hope the future is marriage for all.

"Hey we are here we need the same rights we need the same recognition because we have the same love," said Bingham.

"Marriage really is the ultimately the badge that signifies love and family and commitment," Spector added.

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