HISTORIC: Hawaii Senate Passes Marriage Equality!

October 30, 2013

HAWAIISENATEWINWe’re halfway there. Moments ago, the Hawaii Senate voted to pass marriage equality with overwhelming support. 20 Senators voted in favor of the freedom to marry, while only 4 opposed.

“Today our state took another huge step forward toward justice and equality.  And with this vote, we remain cautiously optimistic that Hawaii will soon align with those who believe that the freedom to marry is consistent with our most cherished value of aloha,” said Jacce Mikulanec, board member of the Japanese American Citizens League and a founding member of Hawaii United for Marriage.

The bill now quickly moves to the House, where a joint hearing is scheduled at 10:30am tomorrow morning before the Committees on Judiciary and Finance.

“After twenty years of debate, lawmakers are left with a simple choice,” said Lois Perrin, ACLU-Hawaii Legal Director and a founding member of Hawaii United for Marriage. “Do we want a Hawaii that condones discriminating against people for being different, or do we want a Hawaii that embraces all people with kindness and respect? Discrimination or aloha? We believe that the Hawaii State Senate chose the right path today and we honor them for their leadership.”

Today’s vote builds on the growing momentum for marriage equality across Hawaii. A supermajority of Hawaii Senators join members of the labor and business communities, Governor Neil Abercrombie, and Hawaii’s Congressional delegation backing the rights of gay couples to legally marry in Hawaii. Local and national public opinion polls show increasing majority support for gay marriage. A White House spokesperson today said President Barack Obama would “welcome a decision by the State Legislature” in favor of marriage equality.

CLICK HERE to ask your representative to do what’s pono and support the freedom to marry for all Hawaii families.