- October 29, 2013
Post submitted by Adrian Matanza, Former HRC Regional Field Director
After hours of testimony in support and opposition of SB1, the marriage equality bill, the Hawaii State Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor voted in favor, 5 to 2, of the bill and referred it to the full Senate for consideration.
In the group of over 1800 testifiers, Governor Abercrombie, who ordered the special legislative session for marriage, the state's Attorney General, statements from U.S. Senator Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, and former Supreme Court Justice Steven Levinson, all testified in support of the bill.
You may recall, Hawaii began the national conversation on marriage equality in 1993 when then Justice Levinson, authored Baehr v. Lewin, stating that a ban on marriage between same sex couples violated the state's law on sex discrimination. In 1998, Hawaii voters approved a constitutional amendment giving the legislature the power to define marriage.
While the bill must still pass the senate, Hawaii News Now is reporting that the legislature has the votes to pass the bill, however, we can't let up. The session is underway, and we need your help now more than ever to contact your Hawaii State legislators. HRC has three organizers, working alongside Hawaii United for Marriage, helping folks make their voices heard. Click here to send a note to your Hawaii State legislators.