Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation

Hawaii governor gives state lawmakers draft bill to legalize same-sex marriage

Thursday, August 29, 2013

HONOLULU — 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.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii)

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.

Abercrombie told reporters he would not rush a special session, or call one without lawmakers having a clear idea of what to do.

“I’m simply not going to consider a special session if it becomes something that gets dragged out and a recycling of previous history,” he said. “The bill’s there, we’re going to make ourselves available.”

He said his administration would let lawmakers digest the bill, and then discuss whether to have a special session.

According to an 18-page draft of the legislation released by Abercrombie’s office, Hawaii would begin issuing licenses Oct. 3, with ceremonies allowed to begin Nov. 1.

If lawmakers pass a bill, Hawaii would join 13 U.S. states and the District of Columbia that have legalized gay marriage. Hawaii is already among a handful of states that allow same-sex civil unions, which gay marriage advocates say stop short of providing the full benefits of marriage.

Proponents of gay marriage in the state renewed their efforts after seeing two U.S. Supreme Court rulings come down in line with their views. One ruling granted federal benefits to same-sex couples married in states where gay marriage is legal.

Abercrombie is a central player on the issue in Hawaii because he has the power to call lawmakers into special session. He has said he thinks a special session is likely, though he has not yet called for one.

On Wednesday, Abercrombie repeatedly used the phrase “if and when” when referring to the possibility of a special session, first at the end of his nearly 14-minute rally speech then repeatedly to reporters afterward.

As Abercrombie left the rally and headed toward an elevator, advocates at the rally chanted “special session.”

Hawaii’s Legislature is made up mostly of Democrats, but House and Senate leaders were unable to wrangle the two-thirds support needed to call a special session on the issue.

Church leaders on both sides of the issue have been outspoken recently, wanting state laws to coincide with their beliefs.

© 2013, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: , ,

Filed under: Hawaii

23 more reader comments:

  1. Now that´s a leader

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 12:18pm
  2. Congratulations to MoveOn.org, and the governor!

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 12:34pm
  3. The battle began in Hawaii abt 20 years ago. But this requires voiding a state constitution amendment.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 1:40pm
  4. The first state in the Nation to have marriage equality (remember the HI Supreme Court?) finally gets it legally.

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 6:52pm
  5. That is great news! Fuck the Roman Catholic bishop of Hawaii!

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 7:51pm
  6. You guys are aware that if gay marriage becomes legal, everyone will turn gay and the human race will die out, right?

    Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 5:36am
  7. Btw, I´m a bullshitter

    Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 5:47am
  8. Read your first comment like WTH then saw the 2nd LOL

    Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 6:17am
  9. LOL

    Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 12:40pm
  10. Funny Bill!

    Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 12:54pm
  11. EXCELLENT !

    Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 1:14pm
  12. I cannot find the bill to read. Still searching the sates web site. Used to know how to…

    Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 3:00pm
  13. I think that is the point Betsy, he probably wants this bill to slide right in without anyone noticing or causing a fuss. :D

    Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 5:49pm
  14. Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 9:06pm
  15. You can link to the bill by clicking on “here”in the obvious line.
    http://governor.hawaii.gov/blog/governor-shares-draft-marriage-bill/

    Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 9:07pm
  16. How wonderful since it is the birth state of President Obama.

    Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 11:18pm
  17. Fantastic!!!!

    Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 11:24pm
  18. Awesome!

    Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 11:35pm
  19. “Church leaders on both sides of the issue have been outspoken recently, wanting state laws to coincide with their beliefs.” I guess separation of church and state only applies when the religious wrong wants it to appy…

    Posted on Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 12:16am
  20. sweet when is it S.D turn

    Posted on Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 12:16am
  21. About time!!!

    Posted on Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 1:40am
  22. YEAH

    Posted on Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 3:33am
  23. -claps for Hawaii-

    Posted on Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 4:23am