by Paul M. Saito
Governor Neil Abercrombie has signed into law the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013, which defines marriage in Hawaii as between “individuals without regard to gender.” Hawaii is the 15th state to give same-sex couples the right to marry. The law goes into effect December 2.
A special session of the Hawaii Legislature convened on October 28 to consider same-sex marriage in the state. Senate Bill 1 proposed to define marriage in Hawaii as between “two individuals without regard to gender.” The special session employed an unusual procedure that allowed over 55 hours of public testimony from over 1,000 individuals. Over 24,000 written submittals also were considered. Both the House and the Senate approved the bill and sent it to Governor Abercrombie for his signature.