Hawaii Businesses Endorse MarriageSeptember 5, 2013
Hawaii Businesses Endorse Marriage Equality
More Than Sixty Businesses Urge Lawmakers to Act
Sept. 5, 2013
For Immediate Release
Honolulu, HI. Members of Hawaii’s business community have stepped forward to endorse marriage equality in Hawaii.
More than sixty businesses are supporting calls for the governor to call the State Legislature into a special session and pass same sex marriage.
“Marriage equality is about fairness and respect for all,” said Elizabeth Churchill, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Aqua Hospitality. “It’s about aloha, acceptance and all the values that make Hawaii the special place we call home.”
“Not only is approving marriage equality the right move, it also makes good business sense,” said Sean Hower, president of “Hitched on Maui” a digital interactive magazine table app for destination weddings that has plans to expand to Oahu and Kauai next year. “Last year 125,000 marriages were performed in Hawaii, so imagine the multiplier effect of adding gay couples to that list.”
The business leaders cite an economic study warning that $217 million in additional visitor spending will disappear over a two year period if Hawaii lawmakers delay a decision on legalizing same-sex marriage.
The endorsement from the business groups comes the same week that members of Hawaii’s organized labor community backed the rights of gay couples to legally marry. And it comes the day before members of the State House of Representatives will caucus behind closed doors with Governor Neil Abercrombie and Attorney General David Louie.
Hawaii’s Congressional delegation is on record in favor of marriage equality. Recent polls show majority support for marriage equality. The poll shows those opposed to gay marriage are diminishing in numbers.
Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriages. Hawaii has a civil unions law, but does not allow gay couples to marry.
Lawmakers supporting marriage equality says the business, labor, and congressional support is important.
“Now it’s up to us,” said Rep. Chris Lee, D-51st. “As policy makers, these are the moments for which we are elected, and I am confident that we will come together and do the right thing, and that is approve marriage equality in a special session.”
Hawaii United for Marriage is a statewide coalition of religious congregations, businesses, labor unions and community organizations. More information is available at www.HawaiiUnited.org A list of the more than 60 businesses can be viewed on this site, along with others endorsing marriage equality.