• what-to-do-media
  • puako-general-store
  • Cheneviere Couture
  • Arnotts Mauna Kea Tours
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • Hilton Luau
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • 10% Off WikiFresh

  • Say When

    December 2018
    S M T W T F S
    « May    
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    3031  

Gov. Abercrombie Signs Historic Marriage Equity Legislation into Law

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed into law a bill that will legalize marriage for same-sex couples in the State of Hawaii. The Governor signed Senate Bill 1 in a ceremony at the Hawaii Convention Center.

abercrombieheader

This new law recognizes marriages between individuals of the same sex and extends to same-sex couples the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities of marriage that opposite-sex couples receive.

The new law takes effect on Dec. 2, 2013. Hawaii is now the 15th state in the nation to fully embrace marriage equity.

“The legalization of marriage for same-sex couples is part of the long history of civil rights movements in the United States,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “Many people have worked tireless to make this day possible. This significant piece of legislation is a clear example of people exercising courage, determination and patient perseverance. The result advances equity in marriage and honors all First Amendment religious imperatives.”

“We have moved into a new era of Aloha for same-sex couples, who can now share in the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” said Attorney General David Louie.

“Although Hawaii was not the first to enact same-sex marriage, what shouldn’t be lost is Hawaii was the first in the Baehr v. Lewin lawsuit, that started the same-sex marriage discussion nationally,” said Sen. Clayton Hee, chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor. “I am pleased today to be able to open a new chapter in our state’s history and to join the growing list of states in conferring to all Americans equal treatment under the law.”

Gov. Abercrombie has always been a strong advocate for equal rights. In 2011, the first bill he signed into law as Governor legalized civil unions, making Hawaii the seventh state to grant such privileges to same-sex couples.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a key provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that denied federal benefits to same-sex couples who were married under state law. The court’s decision means that same-sex couples who are married in states where it is legal can take advantage of tax breaks, pension rights and other benefits available to married couples.

 

Governor Abercrombie Calls Special Session on Marriage Equity

Under Section 10 of Article III of the State Constitution, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has called both houses of the state Legislature to convene in a special session on Oct. 28 to address the issue of marriage equity.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/GXriSYH17y8]

“The decision to call a special session is based on doing what is right to create equity for all in Hawaii,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “As a former legislator, I have great respect for the Legislature and the legislative process. The merits of holding a special session include the opportunity for the Legislature to focus squarely on this important 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 is to be achieved for citizens, passage before the end of the calendar year is essential.”

Abercrombie Proclamation

Since last June’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the IRS and U.S. Treasury Department have ruled that same-sex couples legally married in jurisdictions recognizing their marriages will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs announced that gay married couples will be eligible for veteran’s benefits, and the Pentagon announced that married same-sex couples will be eligible for the same health care, housing and separation benefits as married opposite-sex couples.

“My office has received many e-mails, letters and telephone calls from constituents on both sides of the marriage equity issue, and I have responded with assurance that my administration will meet our responsibilities for due diligence in consideration of all views and legal considerations,” the Governor added. During a special session, all constitutional and legal requirements that govern the Legislature must still be met. The House and Senate internal rules are also the same, both of which require a public hearing before any bill is passed.

Last month, the Governor shared with legislators and the news media a marriage equity bill based on Senate Bill 1369, which was introduced in the 2013 regular session. Community input was taken into consideration while the state Attorney General’s office worked closely with elected officials and a number of legislative staff to craft and further refine the bill.

View the latest version of the Marriage Equity Bill here.

Statement by Hawaii House Speaker Joseph M. Souki on Defense of Marriage Act Ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court

capital

Hawaii House Speaker Joseph M. Souki today issued the following comment on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the provision of a federal law denying federal benefits to married gay couples.

“We will be having full discussions with the members of the majority caucus on the ruling and its ramifications. I expect we will come to some decision as a caucus as to how we want to proceed.”

Governor Abercrombie’s Statement on Same Sex Marriage Rulings by U.S. Supreme Court

Gov. Neil Abercrombie strongly supports the decision by the United States Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor, which will now afford full federal rights to all couples married in states that allow same sex marriage.

abercrombieheader
Gov. Abercrombie stated:

“In Hawaii, we believe in fairness, justice and human equality, and that everyone is entitled to the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else, including the ability to get married. So I am pleased that the Supreme Court, in the Hollingsworth v. Perry case, did not overturn the federal district court’s ruling striking down Proposition 8 – which attempted to bar same sex marriage in California – thereby effectively allowing same sex couples in California to be married.

“Although the Supreme Court did not directly require that same sex couples in other states be allowed to marry, I am encouraged by the fact that language in the Windsor ruling supports my position in the Hawaii lawsuit, which is currently pending in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In that lawsuit, I argue the Constitution’s equal protection clause requires same sex marriage in all states, including Hawaii.

“I believe my position to support a constitutional right to same sex marriage in Hawaii and elsewhere was given a substantial boost by today’s Supreme Court rulings. I will continue to work to assure justice and equality for all.”