Hawaii United for Marriage gears up for a big week for the freedom to marry

This week, a diverse array of voices have spoken out about the importance of the freedom to marry in Hawaii, fueling advocates for a big week next week. Hawaii United for Marriage, the coalition working to pass the freedom to marry in the state, is gearing up for significant movement on the bill next week.

On Sunday, February 3, the Japanese American Citizens League published an editorial in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser endorsing the marriage bill, which was introduced in the Hawaii House and Senate last month. The editorial from the nation's oldest, largest Asian-American civil rights organization explains:

Hawaii is a state defined by its diversity. We as a state also value family and those family members include those who are gay.

The fact that individuals here are denied the right to marry merely because they are gay fundamentally undermines the premise of equality and ultimately robs them of their dignity as citizens.

Hawaii has a chance this legislative session to do what is right and fair, and to put our collective hand on the arc and bend it in the direction of justice for all.

Read the entire editorial HERE.

Yesterday, a new economic impact report indicated that passing a marriage bill in Hawaii would provide a substantial boost to the Hawaii economy by increasing tourism revenue. The report, authored by acclaimed University of Hawaii economics professor Sumner La Croix, estimates that passage of the bill would result in additional toruism spending ranging from $46 million to $258 million between 2014 and 2016. In a blog post yesterday, Hawaii United for Marriage explained:

At its core, extending the freedom to marry to same-sex couples ensures that loving couples have the tools they need to protect their families. But a study released today by University of Hawaii economics professor Summer La Croix demonstrates another significant benefit to passing marriage equality: boosting our state economy! 

Supporters of the freedom to marry are aiming to capitalize on the momentum from this news on Monday, February 11, with Marriage Equality Lobby Day at the State Capitol in Honolulu, HI. Hundreds of supporters of the freedom to marry will come together to speak with lawmakers about why marriage matters and why, in 2013, it's time to pass a marriage bill. If you're from Hawaii, you can sign up to lobby HERE.  

This week, it's more urgent than ever for Hawaii residents who support marriage to contact their legislator and make their voice heard about why marriage matters. A hearing on the marriage bill must be scheduled by February 12 if we want to win marriage in 2013, so time is running out. Contact your legislator and Governor Abercrombie and ask them to make the freedom to marry a priority HERE