In New Jersey, for the last several years, following the New Jersey Supreme Court case of Lewis v. Harris, NJ has had civil unions. This was an attempt to give certain marital type rights to gay and lesbian couples, though many have argued that anything less than marriage is not equal.
Yesterday, the governor of Hawaii vetoed the civil union bill passed by the Hawaii state legislature. Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed the bill after concluding it was the equivalent to marriage, which she believes should be reserved for a man and a woman. Further, the governor deemed the issue as too important to be decided solely by the governor or the state Legislature. As such, she recommended a state constitutional amendment be placed on the ballot for voters in 2012.