News

Governor asks Hawaii to legalize gay marriage

Governor asks Hawaii to legalize gay marriage

Gary Okabayashi, left, and his partner of 32 years Lenny Zimmerman, both of Waikiki, Hawaii wave to morning rush hour traffic showing their support for Hawaii's same-sex civil unions bill civil at the Hawaii State Capitol building in Honolulu on Tuesday, July 6, 2010. Photo: Associated Press/Eugene Tanner

(Reuters) – Hawaiian Governor Neil Abercrombie called on Monday for a special legislative session next month to pass a bill that would legalize gay marriage in the strongly Democratic state that already allows same-sex civil unions.

State legislators presented a draft bill last month to allow same-sex marriages in Hawaii, building on national momentum to allow gay nuptials after the U.S. Supreme Court in June invalidated part of a federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

“The decision to call a special session is based on doing what is right to create equity for all in Hawaii,” Abercrombie said in a statement, calling on both houses of the state legislature to convene in special session on October 28.

Hawaii already recognizes civil unions that provide same- sex couples the same rights, benefits and protections under state law as those afforded to couples of the opposite sex.

The new bill, known as the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013, seeks to ensure that same-sex couples are able to take full advantage of federal benefits and protections already granted to opposite sex married couples.

Abercrombie, a Democrat, said a special session would allow the legislature to “focus squarely” on the issue, without having to divert attention to the hundreds of other bills introduced during a regular session.

“In addition, if full advantage of various tax and other financial issues for citizens is to be achieved, passage before the end of the calendar year is essential,” he said.

Should lawmakers pass the measure, Hawaii would join 13 other U.S. states and the District of Columbia in recognizing gay marriages outright.

What's Hot on STAR

Big Ken and Colleen’s Celebrity Garden

homeandgardenshow16

Vote for Big Ken & Colleen’s Celebrity Garden at the Des Moines Home & Garden Show, February 11-14 at the Iowa Events Center. If they win, they will donate $300 to charity.

Prairie Meadows Lip Sync Battle

PMlipsyncbattle-FI

Lip sync to win cash!

Hire Me Iowa

HireMeIowa_620x400_final

Looking for a job around the Des Moines area? Check out our current job listings here.

STAR Email Club

:Star_EmailClub-01

Join now for your shot at concert tickets, CDs, movie passes & more!

Recent Headlines

24 hours ago in Music

TOP 10: Count down the top tracks this week

12-overlay-10

The top 10 songs from the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week ending Feb. 6.

1 day ago in Entertainment, Sports

You can stream the Super Bowl

superbowl50helmets

This year, CBS will broadcast the game on TV and stream it live on cbssports.com. The network will play the same commercials on TV and on the live stream.