Hawaii Lawmakers Approve Same-Sex Marriage

The island chain will be the fifteenth state to approve same-sex marriage, as Illinois’ legislature passed its own bill last week.

Hawaii Lawmakers Approve Same-Sex Marriage
Hawaii News Now

Hawaii will soon be the latest state to give the green light to same-sex marriages.

The state’s Senate passed the bill after a 30-19 House vote last Friday involving 56 hours of testimony. Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie had called a special session specifically to resolve this issue.

So, maps like these, showing the now-15 states, plus D.C., that allow gay marriage will soon see a change over the Pacific. Like Illinois, Hawaii’s law awaits the governor’s signature before truly becoming official.

As with any big social change in Hawaii, this will likely have a big impact on tourism dollars pouring into the island state. It could become the go-to destination for gay weddings.

A University of Hawaii researcher estimates the state will pull in an additional $217 million over the next three years as it opens the doors to same-sex ceremonies. That’s about $200,000 every day.

The bill headed to Hawaii’s governor includes protection for religious officials who object to gay marriage. Legal licenses for same-sex couples will become available Dec. 2.