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USA, Hawaii: Senate Committee to Take Up Marriage Equality Bill Today

Monday, October 28th, 2013

HawaiiHawaii’s five day special session for marriage equality starts today in the Senate.

Reuters reports:

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.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Hawaii.

USA, Hawaii: Details On Next Week’s Special Session for Marriage Equality

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

HawaiiSome details are beginning to emerge on the special session next week to pass the marriage equality bill in Hawaii.

Equality on Trial reports:

The bill was officially filed on Tuesday, October 22, and will be introduced Monday: The “Hawai’i Marriage Equality Act of 2013″ bill was officially filed Tuesday. Senate officials confirm they will introduce the bill next week Monday, October 28 at the start of the same-sex marriage special session. Senator Clayton Hee says the first public hearing is scheduled before the Judiciary and Labor committee, which he chairs, on Monday, October 28 at 10:30 a.m. in the State Capitol auditorium. Hee says testimony will be limited to 2 minutes a person, in an effort to accommodate everyone who wishes to address lawmakers.

The bill is scheduled to get its first reading in the House on the 31st. As we mentioned before, if it passes, couples in the state may begin to marry as early as November 18th. Equality on Trial also notes that the lawsuit in Hawaii has been put on hold until November 22nd, pending the vote of the legislature.

In the meantime, The National Organization for Marriage is getting busy with their own anti-gay marriage ad.

Towleroad reports:

In anticipation of Governor Neil Abercrombie’s plan to call a special session for a marriage equality bill, the National Organization for Marriage has rolled out a new Hawaiian ad in the hopes of “preserving the traditions of our island ohana.” Ohana, as you might recall from Lilo & Stitch, means “family”.

USA, Hawaii: Same-Sex Weddings Could Begin November 18 If Bill is Passed

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

HawaiiIf Hawaiian lawmakers pass the marriage equality bill in the upcoming special session beginning October 28, gay and lesbian weddings could begin as soon as November 18.

Edge Boston reports:

A Senate draft of the bill to be considered starting Monday says couples would be able to obtain licenses and be married the same day. The draft posted Tuesday presents gay marriage as an equal rights issue, rather than a marriage issue. It changes sections in state law relating to marriage, marriage benefits and divorce. The Legislature has begun accepting testimony on the bill, which will be introduced Monday and immediately referred to the Judiciary Committee.

Who do you think will get there first – Hawaii, Illinois, or New Mexico? Or…?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Hawaii.

USA, Hawaii: Lawmakers, Religious Leaders Discuss Marriage Equality Bill Exemptions

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Hawaiian ChurchAs the special session to pass the marriage equality bill nears, religious leaders are hedging their bets.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Religious leaders in Hawaii have been meeting with state lawmakers about a religious exemption in pending gay marriage legislation, balancing their opposition to the bill with trying to protect their interests as much as possible should it pass. Leaders trying to strengthen the exemptions still mainly want to persuade the Legislature to vote down the measure, reported the Honolulu Star-Advertiser… The current draft exempts religious organizations and related facilities from hosting gay marriages if the facilities aren’t used primarily as for-profit businesses.

Do you support exemptions for religious groups, and if so, how far should they go? If not, why?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Hawaii.

USA, Hawaii: Citing Pending Legislative Session, Ninth Circuit Delays Marriage Equality Case

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

HawaiiIn light of the upcoming special session to debate a marriage equality bill in Hawaii, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is delaying the date for the filing of briefs in the pending lawsuit.

Equality on Trial reports:

The filing points out that “the Hawai’i Legislature’s enactment of marriage equity for same-sex couples would likely moot the current appeal.” They note that a delay would “preserve the resources” of the parties and the court, given that the issue could be resolved outside the federal court system. Governor Abercrombie took no position on the request. The Hawaii Family Forum, defendant-intervenors in the lower court and on appeal, also took no position. Hawaii’s Health Director Loretta Fuddy consented to the request.

All eyes will be on Hawaii next month as the legislature considers the issue.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Hawaii.

USA, Hawaii: Marriage Equality in Hawaii By November?

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

HawaiiWith Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie’s announcement that he is calling a special session next month for marriage equality, things could move quickly.

On Top Magazine reports:

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, on Monday chose to call a special session to consider a proposed gay marriage bill, setting up the possibility that Hawaii could become the 14th state to legalize such unions by November 1. The session, expected to last 5 days, is scheduled to begin October 28. “Every variation on a view with regard to the issue of marriage and equitable treatment for those engaged in marriage has been aired, has been analyzed, has been discussed,” Abercrombie said. “No one has been left out or has been marginalized in the process to this point.”

Anyone plan to fly to Hawaii for your wedding day? How romantic…

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USA, Hawaii: Governor Abercrombie Calls for Marriage Equality Special Session

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Hawaii Governor Neil AbercrombieHawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie is calling for a special session of the Hawaii legislature to pass the marriage equality bill.

Maui Now reports:

Governor Neil Abercrombie called for a special session to begin Oct. 28 to address the issue of marriage equity. The announcement was made during a news conference that was streamed live on the governor’s website this afternoon. “The reason for the session taking place prior to the opening of the regular session next year is that there are serious, deep, and wide ranging consequences, particularly in regard to tax law that have to be in effect by Dec. 31, if they are to be taken full advantage of, presuming that the bill has enough votes for passage,” said Gov. Abercrombie.

Marriage equality this year in Hawaii?

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USA, Hawaii: Decision Soon on Special Session for Marriage Equality

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

Hawaii Governor Neil AbercrombieHawaii’s Governor plans to decide soon on whether to call a special session to pass a marriage equality bill.

Hawaii News Now reports:

Governor Neil Abercrombie says he’s satisfied everyone’s point of view has been taken into account and he’ll decide soon whether to call a special session on same-sex marriage. “Everything that could possibly be said has been said. Every issue that could possibly be worked on has been, so it’s just a matter now of taking a look at what the final wording of the bill might be and I’ll make a decision very shortly,” said Gov. Abercrombie. The Governor was greeted with applause by same-sex marriage supporters as he ducked into a private caucus with House Democrats this morning. He says his principal concern is that people’s rights are respected.

It’s time – and imagine the money Hawaii will make from all the gay and lesbian couples flying there to marry!

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Hawaii.

USA, Hawaii: Democratic Party Calls for Special Session for Marriage Equality Bill

Friday, August 30th, 2013

HawaiiThe Democratic party’s central committee in Hawaii has unanimously called for a special session to pass the marriage equality bill.

On Top Magazine reports:

The 78-member State Center Committee (SCC) of the Hawaii Democratic Party has unanimously approved a resolution calling on state lawmakers to approve a gay marriage bill during a special session. “The Democratic Party of Hawaii calls upon the Legislature to pass marriage equality legislation immediately at a properly convened special session,” the resolution reads. Hawaii Democratic Party Chair Dante Carpenter said that the SCC’s statement “constitutes the official position of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.”

It’s such a sea change to see the Democrat party lining up behind us 100%. Now it’s only a matter of time until Hawaii has full marriage equality.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Hawaii.

USA, Hawaii: Gov. Abercrombie Presents State Lawmakers With Draft Marriage Equality Bill

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Hawaii Governor Neil AbercrombieHawaii’s governor offered lawmakers the draft of the bill to legalize marriage equality in the state on Wednesday.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Wednesday presented state lawmakers with a draft of legislation that would legalize gay marriage in Hawaii. The governor stopped short of saying he would call a special session to pass the bill but said it was a clear possibility. He spoke at an afternoon rally outside the state Capitol and to reporters afterward. The rally, organized by the Honolulu chapter of MoveOn.org, was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Gov. Abercrombie did not explicitly call for a special session to pass the bill, but left the door open to the possibility.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Hawaii.