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Update: Hawaii governor announces special session to take up marriage equality

Jackson LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials Sevcik v Sandoval

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Governor Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii met last week with Democrats in the state house to discuss the possibility of calling for a special session to address marriage equality. The governor had previously presented a draft of the bill to state lawmakers, and the “18-page” bill is under review. Governor Abercrombie has said he would decide soon whether to call a special session or wait until the normal session in January.

Hawaii’s constitution leaves the issue of marriage to the state legislature; the amendment and the anti-gay marriage legislative scheme are being challenged in federal court in Jackson v. Abercrombie. The case is at the Ninth Circuit, on a parallel track with Nevada’s marriage equality case, Sevcik v. Sandoval. Opening briefs in both cases are due this month and oral arguments will occur later this year.

Update (10:15 p.m. Eastern): Gov. Abercrombie today announced he would call a special legislative session and present a marriage equality bill to the Hawaii legislature, Hawaii United for Marriage announced in a press release:

Honolulu, HI. Hawaii United for Marriage today welcomed Governor Neil Abercrombie’s call for a special session of the State Legislature to consider bringing marriage equality to Hawaii.

The session will begin on Oct. 28, 2013.

“Its’ been over two months since the U.S. government recognized marriage between same-sex couples,” said Lois Perrin, ACLU Legal Director and founding member of Hawaii United for Marriage. “Now our state legislature has the opportunity to eliminate the discrimination that exists against gay and lesbian couples in Hawaii.”

“As lawmakers we will now have an opportunity to carefully examine this issue in formal session,” said Rep. Chris Lee, D-51. “In the end, I am confident we will align ourselves with the growing majority of people in Hawaii who know that the freedom to marry is consistent with our most cherished value of aloha.”

1 Comment

  • 1. Micki  |  October 31, 2013 at 5:32 pm

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