Post submitted by Adrian Matanza, Former HRC Regional Field Director

Just moments ago, the Hawaii state Senate passed SB1, the marriage equality bill. After over an hour of debate, and many statements in support of the legislation, the bill easily passed by a vote of 20 to 4.

Many of the statements invoked the historic Loving v. Virginia decision and its similarities to this bill, along with the Hawaii Supreme Court opinion, Baehr v. Lewin, that began the national conversation on marriage equality in 1993. Speakers also noted that and passing this bill is consistent with the Hawaii tradition of showing Aloha to all people.

In advance of the Senate vote, the White House issued this statement:

"While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect," Shin Inouye, a White House spokesman, said in an email. "As he has said, his personal view is that it's wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so. The president would welcome a decision by the state Legislature to treat all Hawaiian couples equally."

In a joint session, the House Committee on Judiciary and the Committee on Finance, is set to hear testimony on SB1 tomorrow morning at 10 am Hawaii time. Stay tuned to HRC’s Blog for updates on the Hawaii marriage equality bill.

Senator Clayton Hee, Chair of Senate Judiciary and Labor

Senator Brickwood Galuteria

Senator Jill Tokuda

Senator Les Ihara

Senator J. Kalani English

Filed under: Federal Advocacy, Marriage

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