Gay Marriage

Hawaii Governor Lobbies for Gay Marriage

The state fell behind after offering benefits in 1997


HONOLULU – Gov. Neil Abercrombie, the Hawaii Democratic Party and numerous special interest groups want a special session to legalize gay marriage.

The governor can call lawmakers into session, but he first wants to make sure he has the votes. He needs at  least 26 in the 51-member House, but the 44 Democrats are divided.

Thirteen states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage, though it was once believed Hawaii would be the first back in 1997. Hawaii passed a reciprocal beneficiaries law in 1997, and in 2011 Abercombie signed a civil union law. Yet opposing voices have proven louder than same-sex proponents in regard to enacting a marriage law.