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04/19/2007


Hawaii Governor Laments 'Lonely Voice' of Gay Rep. Who Opposed Marriage Equality: AUDIO

Neil Abercrombie

Michelangelo Signorile interviewed Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie this past weekend about the legalization of gay marriage in the Aloha State. Abercrombie enthusiastically welcomed all gay couples to come to the state to celebrate their love and tie the knot, and expressed his pride at Hawaii's role in forwarding equality for gay couples, saying,

Part of the sense of Aloha that we try to live by is the sense that our diversity should define us, not divide us. Persevere in extending our humanity to one another.

When Signorile broached the topic of representative Jo Jordan, the first openly gay or lesbian legislator in the U.S. to vote against gay marriage and who did so on grounds that she didn't believe the religious protections were strong enough, Abercrombie said, 

She was a lonely voice in this. I understand it. I disagree with her. She had her reservations about [the bill] sufficient to cause her to vote no. And I'm going to take her at her word. My job now is not to seek retribution or go over the validity of what the motivation was for people’s votes, but to work with them all.

You can listen to Abercrombie and Signorile discussing representative Jordan, along with more clips from the interview, below:

 


Hawaii Bigot Lawmaker Bob McDermott Loses Court Challenge Intended to Halt Same-Sex Marriage

Mcdermott

A Hawaii judge upheld the state's marriage equality law against a challenge by Rep. Bob McDermott, the AP reports:

Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto said the 1998 amendment didn't force the Legislature to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Sakamoto says it doesn't factor into lawmakers' ability to allow gay couples to wed.

"Same-sex marriage in Hawaii is legal," Sakamoto ruled after hearing arguments for more than an hour from the state attorney general and a Republican lawmaker who voted against the bill in the House last week.

McDermott claimed that most voters thought they were voting for marriage between a man and a woman in 1998, and the legislature did not have the right to decide.

The issuance of marriage licenses to gay couples will begin as planned on December 2 and ceremonies can begin that day as well.


Marriage Equality Comes to Hawaii: #TBT and 20 Years of Marriage History

By ARI EZRA WALDMAN

It's appropriate that today is #tbt (Throw-back Thursday) because this week, marriage equality came to Hawai'i, the state where it all began, where the this long (and increasingly successful) fight for the freedom to marry we are in right now started.

BaehrOf course, that's not entirely true. The fight for the freedom to marry for the LGBT community began decades and decades ago, in small living rooms in New York and secret coffee shops in San Francisco and in the minds of a few forward-thinking law students. In the late 1960s, a gay couple asked for a marriage license in Minnesota; the Minnesota Supreme Court said no. The U.S. Supreme Court had no objection. That was a case called Baker v. Nelson and it ended in 1971, over 40 years ago! Jack Baker's and Michael McConnell's losing effort was the first salvo in the first generation of marriage cases.

The current generation of marriage cases began in Hawai'i when three same-sex couples, including Ninia Baehr and Genora Dancel (pictured, right), asked the Hawai'i Department of Health for a marriage license, arguing that they met every state requirement for marriage except for the mere fact that each person loved someone of the same sex.

What happened next was remarkable.

Follow me AFTER THE JUMP to get the rest of the story and see how what happened in Hawai'i brought us to where we are today.

Continue reading "Marriage Equality Comes to Hawaii: #TBT and 20 Years of Marriage History" »


Hawaii Governor Signs Marriage Equality Bill into Law: VIDEO

Abercrombie

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie has signed the marriage equality bill into law. Marriages will start on December 2.

Watch the full ceremony video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Hawaii Governor Signs Marriage Equality Bill into Law: VIDEO" »


Governor to Sign Hawaii Marriage Bill Today, Watch LIVE; Judge to Rule on Challenge Tomorrow

AbercrombieHawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie plans to sign the Hawaii marriage equality bill this morning at 10 am HST/3 pm ET. You can watch it live HERE. A large crowd is expected.

Hawaii will be the 15th state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage and the law is expected to take effect on December 2.

In the past three weeks, two other states have also become marriage equality states, New Jersey and Illinois, the 14th and 16th, respectively, if order is determined by when the laws take effect.

However, expect challenges before then. We've already reported on wingnut lawmaker Bob McDermott and the lawsuit he has filed which claims that in 1998 when Hawaii passed a constitutional amendment voters thought they were voting for one man/one woman marriage rather than allowing the legislature to decide on what constitutes a marriage.

McdermottKHON says that Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto is expected to rule on that this week:

...opponents are counting on Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto to stop the law from taking effect. On Thursday, he's expected to rule on a court order that could stop the state from issuing wedding licenses for same-sex couples on the basis that the people already voted against same-sex marriage in a constitutional amendment in 1998.

"The vote the people made back in 1998 when they basically ratified the amended Constitution by virtually 70 percent in favor," said John Dwyer, attorney for Rep. McDermott.

If the judge grants the court order then another trial will be scheduled that could essentially strike down the same-sex marriage law.

But the state Attorney General says the 1998 constitutional amendment gave the legislature authority to change the law and so the same-sex marriage will be upheld.

Watch a report on the bill's passage in the Senate, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Governor to Sign Hawaii Marriage Bill Today, Watch LIVE; Judge to Rule on Challenge Tomorrow" »


Marriage Equality to Be Finalized in Hawaii Today; Governor Could Sign Wednesday - VIDEO

Loveislove

Hawaii's Senate addresses the marriage equality bill today and its House amendments. The bill is expected to easily pass and could be signed by Wednesday, Hawaii News Now reports:

HawaiiThe jubilation is expected to continue for same sex marriage supporters. The Senate already voted 20 to 4 backing the bill and the amendments aren't expected to change any minds in Tuesday's final vote. Then it goes to the Governor for final approval.

"We're on the cusp of becoming one of the states that is going to be recognizing marriage equity," said Blake Oshiro, Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Neil Abercrombie.

The earliest the Governor would sign it into law is Wednesday morning. His office does not want it to turn into a public spectacle and security is a concern so it will likely be limited to about 200 invited guests.

"We're going to make it as broad as possible for all of the key advocates that have been working on this for a long time but at the same time we are going to be having some security measures to make sure that the event remains consistent with the celebratory mood of what the governor wants," said Oshiro.

Gay couples could start getting married as soon as December 2.

Watch their report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Marriage Equality to Be Finalized in Hawaii Today; Governor Could Sign Wednesday - VIDEO" »


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