President Obama applauds Hawaii’s approval of the freedom to marry

Last night, shortly after the Hawaii Senate granted final approval to the marriage bill that has been dated in the state over this month's three-week Special Session, President Barack Obama issued a statement applauding the decision. The decision yesterday from the HI Senate is especially moving, since Hawaii was where the movement to win the freedom to marry nationwide really began. Read more about that 20-year history HERE

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie is scheduled to sign the bill at 10:00 a.m. Hawaii time today (3pm EST). 

Here is President Obama's full statement

I want to congratulate the Hawaii State Legislature on passing legislation in support of marriage equality. With today’s vote, Hawaii joins a growing number of states that recognize that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be treated fairly and equally under the law. Whenever freedom and equality are affirmed, our country becomes stronger. By giving loving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry if they choose, Hawaii exemplifies the values we hold dear as a nation. I’ve always been proud to have been born in Hawaii, and today’s vote makes me even prouder. And Michelle and I extend our best wishes to all those in Hawaii whose families will now be given the security and respect they deserve.

For the past two years, President Barack Obama and his administration have been increasingly vocal advocates for the freedom to marry, beginning with his announcement in February 2011 that the Obama administration believes that DOMA is unconstitutional. In May 2012, he made history by becoming the first sitting president to voice personal support for same-sex couples' freedom to marry. Last fall, he weighed in on four key marriage ballot measures in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, asking residents there to support marriage for same-sex couples. He has expressed similar support for legislative marriage bills in Rhode Island and his home state of Illinois. And in his inaugural address in January, he called for the freedom to marry for all couples, saying, "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law - for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."

Learn more about the freedom to marry in Hawaii HERE