Hawaii becomes the 15th state to offer the freedom to marry!November 12, 2013
Hawaii will become the 15th state in the nation to grant couples the freedom to marry after the State Senate overwhelmingly approved a marriage equality measure today. Following the Senate’s vote of 19:4, Governor Neil Abercrombie announced he will sign the measure on Wednesday.
“This is a joyous occasion because Hawaii is a state that prides itself for its aloha, diversity, kindness and openness,” said Lois Perrin, ACLU-Hawaii Legal Director and a founding member of Hawaii United for Marriage. “On December 2, 2013, when the new Hawaii law takes effect, our gay brothers, sisters, neighbors and friends will finally be able to marry the person they love.”
Marriage equality has generated support in the religious community, with over 90 faith leaders signing a petition in support. Members of the labor and business communities have joined those faith leaders, the governor 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. In an unusual step, President Barack Obama weighed in on the debate last week, saying he “would welcome a decision by the Legislature to treat all Hawaii couples equally.”
“We want to thank the Legislature for conducting a thorough review and listening to both sides in the longest legislative hearing process in state history. Contrary to what some critics claim, this was not a rushed process,” said Jacce Mikulanec, board member of the Japanese American Citizens League and a founding member of Hawaii United for Marriage. “This issue has been part of a statewide debate for over twenty years, and with these votes in the Senate and House, we believe that our lawmakers have acknowledged that a silent majority in our community believe that it’s time to end discrimination against gay and lesbian couples in Hawaii.”
Hawaii United for Marriage is proud to have worked on the forefront of the path to marriage equality in our great state. We are thankful for the outpour ingof support we have received from the community and its leaders–and we know that we couldn’t have achieved this without you! Mahalo for all of the volunteer hours, calls to legislators, phone banks, and support for marriage on the web. Your dedication and commitment to achieving equality for all loving couples in Hawaii has made this possible, and we are thrilled for the new, bright future for all `ohana.