Historic Freedom to Marry Bill Passes Hawaii Legislature; Governor Will Sign Into Law
Passage Comes 20 Years After Landmark Hawaii Court Decision Propelled Marriage Movement
Media Relations Manager, Freedom to Marry
Honolulu – Today the Hawaii Legislature approved a freedom to marry bill, putting Hawaii on track to become the 15th state where same-sex couples can marry. The bill now goes to Governor Neil Abercrombie, who called the legislature into special session to consider it and will sign the measure into law tomorrow morning.
In 1993, Hawaii launched the ongoing global movement for the freedom to marry when the state Supreme Court ruled in the historic Baehr case that the exclusion from marriage was presumptively unconstitutional. The ruling sparked a debate and the freedom to marry campaign that has resulted in 16 states that will soon have freedom to marry laws and national support at a solid majority, as well as 18 countries on five continents where gay people can share in the freedom to marry.
Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage, and co-counsel during the 1990s in the Baehr case, released the following statement:
“After twenty years of work to win the state where it all started, the Hawaii freedom to marry victory today is especially sweet. It also shows how far we have come. The same legislature that in the 1990's passed the first of the anti-gay constitutional amendments now voted resoundingly for the freedom to marry. Like the millions of Americans who have evolved to become the national majority for marriage, Hawaii's leaders opened their hearts and changed their minds, writing this new freedom to marry chapter in America's history of liberty and justice for all. In 2013 we've won the freedom to marry in our nation's first state and its 50th. We will keep going until we win the freedom to marry nationwide -- and, happily, it won't take another 20 years. Aloha, freedom to marry!”
Freedom to Marry played a leading role in launching the Hawaii United for Marriage campaign, along with Equality Hawaii, the ACLU of Hawaii, the Japanese American Citizen League, HRC, and others. Freedom to Marry provided strategic guidance and counsel on all aspects of the legislative campaign, in addition to managing the digital strategy for Hawaii United for Marriage and supporting newspaper and radio advertisements. Through the Win More States Fund, Freedom to Marry channeled resources to Hawaii to support grassroots field organizing and paid advertising, and capped 20 years of work with a joyous win in the state where the freedom to marry movement started.
Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.