Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



Hawaii gov signs marriage-equality bill
by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service

This article shared 3715 times since Tue Nov 12, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The debate went on much longer than expected but the Hawaii Senate voted Nov. 12 to give final legislative approval to a bill allowing same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses. Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed it Nov. 13.

"SB1 is the epitome of the First Amendment in action" Abercrombie said.

It will take effect Dec. 2, making Hawaii the 15th state plus the District of Columbia to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The vote was 19-4, with two legislators excused.

The Illinois legislature passed its marriage-equality bill before Hawaii, but its Democratic governor, Pat Quinn, will not sign the bill until Nov. 20 and the law does not go into effect until June 1, 2014. That will make Illinois the 16th state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

On the floor of the Hawaii Senate, Sen. Clayton Hee—chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a champion of the legislation—answered critics who said the marriage equality bill had been rushed through the legislature without giving the public ample time to express its views.

"The discussion of same-sex marriage really began in 1993 with the decision by the [state] Supreme Court in a case brought by a same-sex couple denied a marriage license," said Hee. "To say this legislation has been rushed is simply untrue."

Hee's Senate Judiciary Committee entertained public testimony from more than 1,000 people and the House panel listened to more than 5,100 citizens who wanted to weigh in on the bill. Each legislator also received thousands of emails, phone calls and other communications to express their views.

Hee shared two communications he received. One was from a straight Republican woman; the other was from Edie Windsor, the plaintiff in last June's historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Both urged support for the marriage-equality bill.

"Some have said this is the wrong time to bring this thing up," said Hee. "Martin Luther King Jr. said 'There is no wrong time to seek justice.'"

Sen. Mike Gabbard, a Democrat, noted that 60 percent of those who testified at the public hearings were opposed to "this incredibly divisive bill." The voters of Hawaii did vote on the issue in 1998, ratifying a legislature-approved constitutional amendment to limit marriage to male-female couples.

Sen. Russell Ruderman said that, while most of the testimony at the public hearing was opposed to the bill, most of the correspondence received by his office was in support, suggesting the opposition was due mostly to an orchestrated campaign.

Sen. Jill Tokuda noted that, throughout history, judges and lawmakers "are asked to exhibit great courage on behalf of the disenfranchised and minority voices," in regards to such issues as segregation, internment, and interracial marriage.

Although the Senate proceedings were not competing with chants of outside protesters today, the debate was not always respectful. One senator, referred to the "LGBTXYZ community." Another said an opponent told him that Typhoon Haiyan that wreaked devastation on the Phillipines last Friday was caused by Hawaii's passage of the marriage equality bill. And Sam Slom, the Republican leader in the Senate, could barely contain his disdain for the measure and the Democratic Party. He said the day was historic because the date can be written as "11-12-13 and that will never happen again." He mocked the references of marriage-equality supporters to King's "the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice" quote. Slom said it was being bent by man, not God, and noting that King never supported same-sex marriage.

"We have never had an outpouring like this," said Slom. "I don't know if more hours or more study will change anything, but [the bill] will have lasting and serious consequences."

The struggle for marriage equality in Hawaii has held a special place in the history of the LGBT-rights movement. In 1990, three same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in state court in Honolulu, a trial judge concluded the denial of marriage licenses violated the state constitution, and the Hawaii Supreme Court, in 1993, ruled that the state needed to demonstrate it had reason to deny the marriage licenses. After the trial judge determined that the state had failed to do so, the legislature amended the state constitution to limit marriage to male-female couples and the voters ratified that amendment in 1998. In the midst of this, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in anticipation that the marriage-equality movement was emerging and conservative political activists orchestrated ballot measures around the country to ban same-sex marriage in other states.

That tide of opposition to allowing same-sex couples to marry began to turn in earnest in November 2003, which the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued the first state high court ruling that a state constitution guaranteed same-sex couples the same rights to marriage licenses as male-female couples. Hawaii now joins 15 other states and the District of Columbia that have ended their bans on allowing same-sex couples to marry. The U.S. Supreme Court in June struck down the key provision of DOMA, which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples with valid marriage licenses.

©2013 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

This article shared 3715 times since Tue Nov 12, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

[UPDATE] Lisle school offers job to lacrosse coach in same-sex marriage 2021-09-21
- The administration at Lisle’s Benet Academy, a west suburban Catholic school, has reversed course and offered a job to a woman in a same-sex marriage after initially rescinding the offer, The Chicago Tribune reported. ...

Gay News

Pope again refuses to bless same-sex marriages 2021-09-18
- Pope Francis told reporters recently on a return flight from Hungary that the Catholic Church is unable to bless same-sex marriages because marriage is a divine sacrament between a man and a woman, per The Advocate. ...

Gay News

Polis marriage marks first same-sex wedding of sitting governor 2021-09-17
- On Sept. 15, Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis wed longtime partner Marlon Reis—marking the first same-sex marriage of a sitting U.S. governor, NPR reported. Polis keeps making history. In 2018, Polis became the first openly gay ...

Gay News

LGBTQ advocates celebrate two Illinois marriage certificate modernization bills 2021-07-27
--From a press release - Trans and non-binary people who were married in Illinois will now be able to obtain marriage certificates that reflect their authentic selves thanks to legislation signed today by Governor JB Pritzker, according to Equality Illinois and ...

Gay News

WORLD Marriage in Chile, Polish website, Toronto news, 'Reclaim Pride' march 2021-07-25
- On July 21, Chile's Senate approved an equal-marriage bill, reported. The regulations were presented during the second government of the socialist Michelle Bachelet (2014-2018) and last June 1, during ...

Gay News

LGBTQ advocates celebrate passage of Illinois marriage certificate name change legislation 2021-05-28
--From a press release - LGBTQ advocates are celebrating passage of state legislation that will provide certainty for individuals requesting that their Illinois marriage certificates reflect a legal name change. HB 2590 is an initiative of Equality Illinois and Chicago House ...

Gay News

LGBT-inclusive marriage-certificate act passes state General Assembly 2021-05-21
--From a press release - May 21. 2021 - In an effort to modernize marriage certificates in Illinois, state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz and state Rep. Ann Williams helped pass The Marriage Certificate Modernization Act through the Illinois General Assembly. The legislation ...

Gay News

Starting May 3, ceremonies in Cook County's downtown Marriage Court can be performed by Zoom 2021-04-30
- CHICAGO (April 30) — Marriage and civil union ceremonies at Cook County's downtown Marriage and Civil Union Court (Marriage Court) may be performed via Zoom videoconference, as well as in person, starting next week, according to ...

Gay News

Illinois Senate passes proposal removing gendered language from marriage certificates 2021-04-21
--From a press release - On April 21, on its third reading, the Illinois Senate passed (by a bipartisan vote of 44-13) a proposal that amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to allow the removal of gendered language ...

Gay News

Russian leader Putin officially bans same-sex marriage 2021-04-08
- On April 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a series of constitutional amendments that, among other things, formally defines marriage as between a man and a woman in the country, The Washington Blade reported. ...

Gay News

Global momentum for marriage equality surges,"Freedom to Marry Global" website created 2021-03-31
--From a press release - April 1st marks twenty years since the Netherlands ended the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage, becoming the first of so far 30 countries worldwide to affirm the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Now, two ...

Gay News

WORLD Landmark ruling, Montreal's Gay Village, acid attack, anti-LGBTQ laws 2021-03-21
- In a landmark ruling, a Japanese court ruled that the government's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, NPR noted. Article 24 of Japan's constitution defines marriage as based on the "mutual consent of both sexes," which ...

Gay News

LETTER The Vatican's words and actions do not echo love 2021-03-18
- The LGBTQA community is responding with shock, anger and frustration at the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith statement concerning same-sex unions. Many in our community can't understand why Pope Francis would allow such a ...

Gay News

Pope Francis documentary 'Francesco' to debut March 26 2021-03-16
- Pope Francis—in the news lately because of the Catholic Church's stance that it cannot bless same-sex unions, adding that it is "not licit" to bless relationships that involve sexual activity outside of marriage—is the subject of ...

Gay News

DignityUSA: Vatican denying same-sex blessings "Exacerbates pain and anger" 2021-03-16
--From a press release - March 15, 2021. DignityUSA, the organization of Catholics working for justice, equality, and full inclusion of LGBTQI people in the church and society, is deeply disappointed by the Vatican's statement unequivocally denying blessings to same-sex coupl ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.