Hawaii Poised to Become 15th State to Legalize Gay Marriage
The state Senate passed a bill Tuesday legalizing gay marriage, putting Hawaii a signature away from becoming a same-sex wedding destination.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who called lawmakers to a special session for the bill and has vocally supported gay marriage, has said he would sign the measure. It will allow thousands of gay couples living in Hawaii and even more tourists to marry in the state starting Dec. 2.
Senators passed the bill 19-4 with two lawmakers excused. Cheers erupted inside and outside the gallery when the vote was taken, with a smattering of boos. Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, who voted against the bill, banged her gavel and told members of the public to quiet down.
More than half the chamber's lawmakers spoke in support of the bill, with many urging the public to come together to heal divisions within the community.
"This is nothing more than the expansion of aloha in Hawaii," said Sen. J. Kalani English, a Democrat from Maui.
An estimate from a University of Hawaii researcher says the law will boost tourism by $217 million over the next three years, as Hawaii becomes an outlet for couples in other states, bringing ceremonies, receptions and honeymoons to the islands. The study's author has said Hawaii would benefit from pent-up demand for gay weddings, with couples spending $166 million over those three years on ceremonies and honeymoons.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
LATEST POLITICS HEADLINES
SCOTUS Overturns Ex-Gov. Bob McDonnell's Conviction12 hours ago
Bob McDonnell and the Illusion of Ethics Reform12 hours ago
5 States Where the Abortion Ruling Could Spur More Lawsuits13 hours ago
At Mayors Conference, Clinton Stresses Need for Pragmatism and Bipartisanship15 hours ago
Florida Mayor Carjacked at Gunpoint16 hours ago
Montana Gubernatorial Candidates Spar in First Debate16 hours ago