Hawaii To Sign Equal Marriage Into Law This Evening

Neil Abercrombie is to sign same-sex marriage legislation into law later today. [Image: Wikipedia]

Neil Abercrombie is to sign same-sex marriage legislation into law later today. [Image: Wikipedia]

The State of Hawaii is to introduce same-sex marriage later today, joining 14 other US states, as well as the District of Columbia, in providing marriage equality. The bill is expected to be signed into law at an invitation-only event at the Liliu Theater, by State Governor, Neil Abercrombie, at 10am local time today (8pm Irish time). Governor Abercrombie told media that he looks forward to signing “this significant piece of legislation, which provides marriage equity and fully recognizes and protects religious freedoms.”

The new law will allow thousands of gay couples living in Hawaii, as well as tourists visiting the islands, to marry in the state from the second of December. A researcher at the University of Hawaii has estimated that the introduction of marriage equality to the so-called Aloha State will boost tourism by $217 million over the next three years, as Hawaii becomes an idyllic destination for gay & lesbian couples, bringing ceremonies, receptions and honeymoons to the islands.

US President, Barack Obama, praised the bill’s passage, saying the affirmation of freedom and equality makes the country stronger.

“I’ve always been proud to have been born in Hawaii, and today’s vote makes me even prouder,” Mr Obama said.

“This is nothing more than the expansion of aloha in Hawaii,” said Sen. J. Kalani English, a Democrat from Maui who voted in favour of the legislation.

For those interested in viewing the historic event online, HawaiiNewsNow.com will be streaming the event live on their website.

About Scott De Buitléir

Scott De Buitléir is founder and editor of EILE Magazine. A writer and broadcaster from Dublin, he has written for the Huffington Post, GCN, Gaelscéal, Gay Times and Polari, as well as having worked for radio stations such as RTÉ 2fm, Spin1038 and BBC Radio Ulster. He is radio host and producer of The Cosmo, every Wednesday from 10pm on RTÉ Pulse.

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