News

Governor asks Hawaii to legalize gay marriage

Governor asks Hawaii to legalize gay marriage

Gary Okabayashi, left, and his partner of 32 years Lenny Zimmerman, both of Waikiki, Hawaii wave to morning rush hour traffic showing their support for Hawaii's same-sex civil unions bill civil at the Hawaii State Capitol building in Honolulu on Tuesday, July 6, 2010. Photo: Associated Press/Eugene Tanner

(Reuters) – Hawaiian Governor Neil Abercrombie called on Monday for a special legislative session next month to pass a bill that would legalize gay marriage in the strongly Democratic state that already allows same-sex civil unions.

State legislators presented a draft bill last month to allow same-sex marriages in Hawaii, building on national momentum to allow gay nuptials after the U.S. Supreme Court in June invalidated part of a federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

“The decision to call a special session is based on doing what is right to create equity for all in Hawaii,” Abercrombie said in a statement, calling on both houses of the state legislature to convene in special session on October 28.

Hawaii already recognizes civil unions that provide same- sex couples the same rights, benefits and protections under state law as those afforded to couples of the opposite sex.

The new bill, known as the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013, seeks to ensure that same-sex couples are able to take full advantage of federal benefits and protections already granted to opposite sex married couples.

Abercrombie, a Democrat, said a special session would allow the legislature to “focus squarely” on the issue, without having to divert attention to the hundreds of other bills introduced during a regular session.

“In addition, if full advantage of various tax and other financial issues for citizens is to be achieved, passage before the end of the calendar year is essential,” he said.

Should lawmakers pass the measure, Hawaii would join 13 other U.S. states and the District of Columbia in recognizing gay marriages outright.

Recent Headlines

55 minutes ago in Viral Videos

Kicked in the head by a train

Fresh
Kicked By Train

This man tried to take a selfie while a train passed but was a little too close.

1 hour ago in Entertainment

Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy engaged

Fresh
donniewahlberg

Jenny McCarthy has the "right stuff" in the New Kids On The Block star's eyes.

today in Viral Videos

Slow motion parkour dog

Updated
Parkour Dog

If you thought parkour videos were cool, wait until you see the dog version!

today in Music

AC/DC will ‘rock on;’ Young has ‘debilitating illness’

brianjohnson

The band plans to begin recording in May, but founding member Malcolm Young won't be among them.

today in Entertainment

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly re-team for new comedy

ferrell

The duo are teaming up on the big screen for a third time in a new comedy.