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Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals receives responses to order questioning whether to dismiss appeal of Hawaii marriage equality case

The same-sex couples who fought Hawaii’s same-sex marriage ban in federal court have now filed, along with Governor Abercrombie, requests to have the Ninth Circuit appeal dismissed.

Continue 3 Comments December 19, 2013

Ninth Circuit gives plaintiffs in Hawaii same-sex marriage case 21 days to ask for dismissal

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is giving the same-sex couples who filed a federal challenge to Hawaii’s same-sex marriage ban three weeks to either file a request to dismiss the case or tell the appeals court why it should continue.

Continue 10 Comments December 4, 2013

Same-sex couples tie the knot in Hawaii as marriage equality goes into effect

Hawaii state sealAt midnight early this morning, Hawaii’s new marriage equality law went into effect, and same-sex couples in the state were ready to take advantage of that fact.  The AP reports:

Six couples tied the knot early Monday, shortly after midnight, when a new law allowing same-sex couples to marry took effect.

A Waikiki resort was hosting mass ceremonies for anyone wanting to sign up, while a group of clergy who pushed for the new law planned to host a wedding for an openly gay Unitarian minister at a church near downtown Honolulu.

Hawaii’s marriage laws allow couples to register for a license and be married the same day, a process conducive for tourists only in the state a short time.

Couples can sign up for a license online, then be verified by any license agent throughout the state.

Many involved in the marriage equality movement consider Hawaii the birthplace of the issue, after a court ruling in same-sex couples’ favor led to the U.S. Congress passing the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.  DOMA, of course, was invalidated earlier this year.

The Honolulu Civil Beat had a few sweet details about the historic event:

“I do,” said one partner.

“I do,” said the other.

Cue Elvis and the “Hawaiian Wedding Song”:

Now that we are one
Clouds won’t hide the sun
Blue skies of Hawaii smile
On this, our wedding day.

It was quite the lovely occasion: The Sheraton’s Leahi Club Lounge, with stunning views of Waikiki at night in the rain, was adorned with white flowers and candles. Chaz Hill played piano and sang touching ballads, including John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu performed a stunning oli.

This morning, NPR ran a story will a simple question as its headline: Could Hawaii Become A Same-Sex Wedding Destination?:

“Same-sex couples will be attracted to Hawaii for the same reasons that opposite-sex couples are attracted to Hawaii,” says Sumner La Croix, an economist at the University of Hawaii. “It’s the great weather, it’s the warm water, it’s the beautiful scenery. And it’s also the aloha spirit.”

La Croix estimates that over the next three years, gay marriage will boost tourism in Hawaii by $217 million. Unlike some other states with marriage equality laws, Hawaii already has a booming tourism industry. La Croix believes that gives Hawaii an advantage.

“The machinery of marriage is already in place here. There are hotels that are in the marriage business,” he says. “They’re used to catering to couples who are honeymooning or want to get married or are celebrating a marriage. There are wedding photographers. There are caterers. There’s a large number of firms that are specialized in the marriage business.”

2 Comments December 2, 2013

Ninth Circuit halts briefing in Hawaii federal marriage equality case

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed briefing in Jackson v. Abercrombie, a challenge to Hawaii’s former same-sex marriage ban.

Continue 11 Comments November 19, 2013

Hawaii judge declines to halt same-sex marriages

Last week, a judge in Hawaii heard arguments in a request from opponents of same-sex marriage opponents to prevent the issuance of marriage licenses in the state. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is reporting that the judge denied the request for the temporary restraining order, meaning that marriages will be able to go forward while the case proceeds in court.

Continue 2 Comments November 18, 2013

Time extensions sought at Ninth Circuit for filing briefs in Nevada, Hawaii marriage equality cases

The plaintiffs in the challenge to Hawaii’s anti-gay marriage law are asking the Ninth Circuit to delay the due date for their opening brief; the defendants in the Nevada challenge were granted an extension to file their answering briefs.

Continue 37 Comments November 13, 2013

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