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Governor Signs Historic Marriage Equality Bill

Governor Signs Historic Marriage Equality Bill

Governor Neil Abercrombie signed the marriage equality bill into law Wednesday morning, describing the law as part of Hawaii's "legacy of aloha." At a signing ceremony at the Hawaii Convention Center, the governor told dozens of invited guests and state lawmakers that the marriage equality bill was the "epitome of the First Amendment in action." Hawaii is the 15th state plus the District of Columbia to allow gay marriage. Gay couples can get married in Hawaii as soon as December 2nd. Clergy can refuse to perform gay weddings. Churches and other religious organizations can deny goods, services and facilities for gay weddings and receptions if it violates religious beliefs. Same-sex marriage opponents have not given up, though. Representative Bob McDermott filed a lawsuit, contending that a 1998 constitutional amendment that gave the Legislature the power to reserve marriage to heterosexual couples outweighs a statutory change. And, the lawsuit says only another public vote can redefine marriage.  Judge Karl Saka­moto has scheduled a hearing Thursday  in Circuit Court.


 

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