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About a year after Hawaii gave the green light to Civil Unions, another major milestone occurred – the legalization of gay marriages in the Rainbow State.
This makes Hawaii the 15th state to allow same-sex marriages, and as early as Dec. 2, 2013, gay couples that live in Hawaii or are visiting may marry. The new law will no doubt boost Hawaii’s tourism – especially since it is now a place for everyone to have their destination wedding.
For the past few weeks, hundreds of protestors and supporters of the same-sex marriage bill gathered outside of the State Capitol. A sea of rainbow-colored flags and painted signs could be spotted from a mile a way. Things got so heated that extra security enforcements had to be called into the Capitol.
Although this issue has been the talk of the town for the past few weeks, it is a debate that began decades ago when two women applied for a marriage license. This lead to a court battle, in which the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that the couple’s rights to equal protection had been violated by not letting them marry. Today, that debate is finally over for Hawaii.
Many Hawaii hotels and businesses have already been preparing for the rush of same-sex weddings at the end of this year. I know this because I am getting married in May and have talked to many vendors about it during these past few weeks. It’s an exciting new step toward equality and yet another opportunity for Hawaii to share its aloha with the rest of the world.