Here's what the other members of the delegation along with some background info:Members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation on Aug. 16 urged state lawmakers to support a bill that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.
Congresswomen Colleen Hanabusa and Tulsi Gabbard and U.S. Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz each spoke in support of the issue in a press release the group Hawaii United for Marriage released.
“Government officials, judges and bureaucrats should not have the power to declare one relationship ‘morally’ superior to another,” Gabbard said. - Washington Blade, 8/21/13
Their timing couldn't be more perfect because marriage equality could become a reality in Hawaii come this fall:"We're on the brink of getting marriage equality in Hawaii and same-sex couples shouldn't have to wait any longer for this fundamental civil right. Let's get this done," stated Hirono.
"Equality goes hand-in-hand with Hawaii's values and with what the majority of Americans hope to achieve," added Schatz. "Our country took an important step towards achieving marriage equality, and now it's time for Hawaii to step up and allow same-sex couples to marry. I urge the Hawaii State Legislature to do what's right and make marriage equality a reality."
"It's time for Hawaii to stand with the growing number of states across the country that offer full marriage equality to all of it’s citizens," said Hanabusa, "I encourage Governor Abercrombie and our state legislators to prove their determination by swift, decisive action."
In January, same-sex marriage legislation was introduced in the state's House and Senate, but failed to overcome a procedural obstacle and were never scheduled for hearings. Nevertheless, the bills remain alive through 2014, according to Freedom to Marry, and could be considered during a special session of the legislature.
A January poll conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research and commissioned by Equality Hawaii Foundation found 55 percent of respondents support same-sex marriage while only 37 percent are opposed. - Metro Weekly, 8/16/13
Governor Neil Abercrombie (D. HI) sounds very optimistic about getting the votes required to pass a marriage equality bill:Twenty years ago, Hawaii was the place where marriage equality first emerged as a real possibility. Now it looks like the state may finally complete its wedding march. Democrats in the state legislature are meeting this week to determine if they have the votes to pass a marriage equality bill. Assuming that they do — and they represent the overwhelming majority in both houses — Gov. Neil Abercrombie will call a special session of the legislature this fall to pass the measure. Abercrombie told party members that the special session was “very likely” to happen.
“I think we can put together something that can achieve a solid majority, that will give us the opportunity to establish marriage equity in the state of Hawaii commensurate with the recent Supreme Court decisions, and will satisfy and resolve the issues that are presently before the appeals court on the mainland,” Abercrombie said. - Queerty, 8/21/13
Even Hawaii's religious leaders are on board for marriage equality:Hawaii state House Democrats will meet this week to gauge whether they can come up with the votes to pass a bill legalizing same-sex marriage.
If there is sufficient support, and if legislative leaders can agree on language that would withstand court challenges, Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) will call a special session to deal with the issue this fall. Abercrombie told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser he thinks it’s “very likely” there will be a special session.
“I think we can put together something that can achieve a solid majority, that will give us the opportunity to establish marriage equity in the state of Hawaii commensurate with the recent Supreme Court decisions, and will satisfy and resolve the issues that are presently before the appeals court on the mainland,” Abercrombie told a gathering of state Democrats. - Washington Post, 8/20/13
If you would like to get involved and stay updated, you can check out Freedom To Marry's Hawaiian section here:More than two dozen Hawaii faith leaders of various religions signed a resolution Monday calling the state to pass a law legalizing gay marriage.
Jewish, Unitarian, Methodist and other leaders read and signed the poster-sized declaration at an interfaith brunch at the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu.
“It’s all about standing on the right side of history,” said Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kupono Kwong of the First Unitarian Church.
Kwong said the groups would continue to press on the issue until more people are in favor of gay marriage.
“We will keep doing it until we’re all prayed out,” Kwong said.
The resolution asks Hawaii lawmakers to extend civil marriage benefits to same-sex couples. Hawaii currently has a civil unions law, but some say it doesn’t go far enough in fully recognizing couples as married.
The church leaders say civil recognition of the relationships is a matter of fairness. - LGBTQ Nation, 8/19/13