Saturday, November 09, 2013

HISTORIC! Hawaii House Passes Marriage Equality Bill 30-19!

The Hawaii House of Representatives made history last night by giving final passage to an amended marriage equality bill 30-19. This legislative action practically insures that the Aloha State will become the 16th state to have enacted marriage equality, and the second state legislative house to make history this week, following Illinois on Wednesday. The Hawaii Senate still needs to pass the amended bill and send it to the Governor, who intends to enthusiastically sign it into law:
"I commend the House of Representatives for taking this historic vote to move justice and equality forward.  
"After more than 50 hours of public testimony from thousands of testifiers on both sides of the issue, evaluating dozens of amendments, and deliberating procedures through hours of floor debates, the House passed this significant bill, which directly creates a balance between marriage equity for same-sex couples and protects our First Amendment freedoms for religious organizations. 
"I applaud Speaker Souki, Judiciary Chair Rhoads, Finance Chair Luke, Majority Leader Saiki and the rest of the leadership team for their patience, fairness and hard work in shepherding this bill through the House.  
"I am confident that the Senate will address the bill in the same spirit. I look forward to a successful conclusion to this major step in affirming everyone's civil rights."
There's an extra resonance in Hawaii joining the burgeoning group of states embracing marriage equality because twenty years ago it was widely expected to be the first state to end marriage discrimination against same-sex couples. However, it didn't turn out that way and now Hawaii will be the 16th state instead of the first. Oh well, better late than never.

Hat/tip to Joe.My.God

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