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Gov. Neil Abercrombie signing Hawaii's marriage equality law
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed the state's marriage equality law Wednesday morning (by Hawaii time), joining 14 states and the District of Columbia in embracing equality. Hawaii narrowly beat Illinois to the finish line, with the Illinois legislature holding its vote first but Abercrombie signing the law before Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn did the same.
Seeming overwhelmed by his part in such a moment in history, Abercrombie spoke about the meanings of the word "aloha," relating its meaning to the "patient perseverance" the legislature showed in making marriage equality law; he also cited the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, calling the law he was about to sign "the epitome of the First Amendment in action."
Hawaii was briefly a pioneer of marriage equality in the 1990s, when the state's supreme court made a pro-marriage ruling, leading both to the federal Defense of Marriage Act and a state constitutional amendment that will be under dispute in a lawsuit seeking to block the new marriage equality bill:
Among them was Hawaii Rep. Bob McDermott. The congressman has filed a lawsuit against Abercrombie claiming that same-sex marriage cannot be legalized until a court rules on the meaning of a constitutional amendment passed in 1998 about gay marriage.
The online court docket shows a motion dated for Thursday asking for a temporary restraining order to be put in place on SB1.
The judge will hear a case after the law's signing, but state Attorney General David Louie has expressed confidence that it will be upheld. The state constitutional amendment said that "The Legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples," which would seem to indicate the legislature shall have the power not to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.
Under the law, same-sex couples can legally marry starting Dec. 2.
Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 12:54 PM PST.