blakeoshiroThe Hawaii Senate has passed the final version of a sweeping civil unions bill that gives same-sex couples the same rights as married couples. Gov. Neil Abercrombie has pledged to sign the legislation.

House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro, who is openly gay, sponsored the bill and worked to resurrect it after a similar bill was vetoed last year by then-Gov. Linda Lingle.

Hawaii couples, gay and straight, can enter civil unions beginning in January.