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Hawaii House Democrats to caucus on same-sex marriage bill

Thursday, September 5, 2013

HONOLULU — Democrats in the Hawaii House plan to meet with Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the state attorney general on Friday to discuss a draft of gay marriage legislation as Abercrombie considers whether to call a special session on the issue.

A House spokeswoman said Thursday the meeting is scheduled to be held at the state Capitol.

The meeting comes more than a week after Abercrombie publicly released an 18-page draft of legislation that would allow marriage licenses to be issued starting Oct. 3 and ceremonies to begin Nov. 1.

Also Thursday, several dozen Hawaii businesses endorsed the legislation, including Waikiki hotel operator Aqua Resorts and several wedding-related businesses. The businesses aligned themselves with Hawaii United For Marriage, a group pushing the special session.

Sean Hower, president of Hitched on Maui, an app with wedding resources, said approving gay marriage would make business sense given all the ceremon ies that happen in the state.

According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, more than 71,000 visitors came to the state to get married over the first seven months of the year.

“Imagine the multiplier effect of adding gay couples to that list,” Hower said in a statement.

Abercrombie has not firmly said whether a special session will be called. The regular legislative session begins in January.

Proponents of gay marriage have said a special session would allow a law to pass without delay, and with minimal influence from groups outside the state.

Opponents, including several religious groups, have said a special session would cost extra money and prevent proper debate.

If a bill is passed, Hawaii would join 13 U.S. states and the District of Columbia in legalizing gay marriage. Hawaii, like a handful of states, already offers same-sex civil unions.

An economic analysis released last month from the University of Hawaii said legalizing gay marriag e would add $217 million to the state’s tourism economy over the next three years, with $166 million spent on marriage ceremonies and honeymoons.

The analysis said about 2,000 same-sex couples living in Hawaii would likely be married by 2016.

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12 more reader comments:

  1. Let’s hope they do the right thing and pas this

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 10:16pm
  2. OH they will…….eventually.

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 11:04pm
  3. It’s not “if” but “when.”

    Posted on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 12:49am
  4. Do the right thing Hawaii and support marriage equality.

    Posted on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 12:49am
  5. OMG! The reason that DOMA passed in congress was in response to marriage equality that was being considered in Hawaii. At that point in time, the Hawaii State Supreme Court had refused ruling on a case which was before it — and would have made Hawaii the first state to acknowledge marriage equality. The HI Supreme Court, instead, passed the case back to the lower court asking the state to show reason it should not rule in favor of the couples who had brought the suit. At that time, Hawaii had no gender in its constitution… The court bought time for the legislature to bring a ballot initiative whereby the people yielded their powers to make a constitutional amendment to the legislature — which then wrote discrimination into law for the first time in the state’s history. And, since the state has been governed by the Democratic party since 1959… Democrats can own the blame… here we are 20 years later… and Democrats in Hawaii are “undoing” what they did in the 1990′s.

    Posted on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 12:54am
  6. Here’s a little info about your new home Jaime Rene Padilla :)

    Posted on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 3:28am
  7. It will totally pass in Hawaii! It was one of the first to get the ball rolling.

    Posted on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 3:45am
  8. I say do it Hawaii support marriage equally

    Posted on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 5:05am
  9. It’s going to pass. I don’t doubt it. :)

    Posted on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 5:22am
  10. A lot of gay couples are rich so yeah who really cares what it’s called. Only unchristian biggots are against it. They can just stay in their hell hole red states of the flying stupid minds.

    Posted on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 7:16am
  11. Please do. Hawaii

    Posted on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 12:17pm
  12. Yay

    Posted on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 2:07pm