Hawaii and Delaware joined the marriage equality train at the start of the new year. They may be at the caboose, but at least they're on the right track. Both states instituted civil unions when the clock struck midnight on January 1st.
In both Hawaii and Delaware, the language of the law emphasizes that "it is not the legislature's intent to revise the definition or eligibility requirements of marriage."
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, signed the state's civil unions bill into law last February, calling it "a prime example of exercising civic courage. It is about doing what is right, no matter how difficult, no matter how much opposition."
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, signed his state's bill into law in May.
The two states join Illinois, New Jersey, California, and Rhode Island in half-heartedly supporting marriage equality. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and the District of Columbia have full marriage equality for same-sex couples.
California, of course, allowed gay couples to get married for a hot minute before voters repealed the marriage law in 2008. The state's civil unions law is still in effect.