Governor Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, has called the session to start on Monday to debate a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage. “I think Hawaii has always celebrated its sense of Aloha for one another,” Abercrombie said in a telephone interview. “This is a question of equity.”… The tide has begun to turn under Abercrombie, who was elected in 2010. He signed a same-sex civil unions bill into law in 2011, and has been a vocal proponent of gay marriage since then.
The Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii is voted to support the bill. NPR reports:
On Sunday, the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii voted to support the bill — “the largest denomination to announce its support of an issue that has divided people of faith,” The Honolulu Star Advertiser says.
Meanwhile, supporters and opponents were rallying outside the Capitol. Hawaii News Now reports:
A gathering organized by the Gay, Lesbian & Transgender Caucus of the Hawaii Democratic Party attracted hundreds people at the state Capitol. Singer Willie K entertained the crowd and lawmakers and advocates talked about making Hawaii the 15th state to legalize gay marriages. “I think we are going to make history here,” said state Rep. Chris Lee, D-Kailua… The GLBT gathering came moments before the New Hope Church and New Hope Chapel Nanakuli hosted its own prayer vigil at Iolani Palace. “It’s going against our religious freedoms and religious rights. It doesn’t give us the freedom to worship and preach what we believe,” Ellie Kapihe of Windward Missionary Church in Kaneohe.
Remember, the bill does provide protections for churches, and religious groups were consulted prior to the session.