Hawaii Now a Destination for Same-Sex Weddings, Too

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Same sex marriage supporters arrive to a rally at the Hawaii State Capital as the State Legislature votes on allowing same sex marriage to be legal in the state of Hawaii in Honolulu, November 8, 2013. Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie convened a special legislative session to address the issue of same sex marriage in Hawaii.
Photo: Hugh Gentry/Corbis

At this point, a new state allowing same-sex marriage is still news, but far less so than it once was, twenty years ago, when Hawaii's Supreme Court became the first to rule that denying gay couples the right to marry was unconstitutional. That decision led the U.S. Congress to implement the Defense of Marriage Act, which the Supreme Court only repealed this year. Given Hawaii's significant role in the saga of marriage equality in this country, it seems kind of a shame that the state Senate only just approved a bill to legalize same-sex marriage there, in a 19-4 vote.

The bill, which exempts clergy and religious groups, passed with little struggle, Reuters reports. The Hawaii state Senate's one Republican opposed it, as did three Democrats (two others missed the vote). Abercrombie, who called the special session to consider the bill, plans to sign it Wednesday, making the state the fifteenth to legalize same-sex marriage. And now the state can get down to the business of hosting so many more destination weddings than it already does.