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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hawaii Gov Forwards Marriage Bill

"We are doing our due diligence to remain open, transparent and accessible on this important issue of equality. Over the coming days, I along with the Lt. Governor, Attorney General and staff will be available to legislative caucuses. Next week, it is my hope to meet with House and Senate leadership to discuss the possibility of a special session.”

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie provided state legislators and news media a marriage bill drafted by the state Attorney General, August 28, 2013. The bill is based on Senate Bill 1369, introduced in the 2013 regular session, and was drafted in collaboration with legislators, staff and stakeholders.

"This Act shall be known as the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013. The purpose of this Act is to recognize marriages between individuals of the same sex in the State of Hawaii. The legislature acknowledges the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor, 133 S.Ct. 2675(2013), which held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, Public Law 104-199, unlawfully discriminated against married same-sex couples by prohibiting the federal government from recognizing those marriages and by denying federal benefits and protections to those couples. This legislature has already extended to same-sex couples the right to enter into civil unions that provide the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities under state law as afforded to opposite-sex couples who marry. However, these civil unions are not recognized by federal law and will not receive equal treatment to a marriage under federal law. Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to ensure that same-sex couples are able to take full advantage of federal benefits and protections granted to married opposite- sex couples by allowing same-sex couples to marry under the laws of this State. It is the intent of the legislature that marriages solemnized in accordance with this Act be equal in all respects to the marriages of opposite-sex couples under the laws of this State. It is the intent of the legislature that there be no legal distinction between same-sex married couples and opposite-sex married couples with respect to marriage under the laws of this State. Thus, the legislature intends that all provisions of law regarding marriage be applied equally to same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples, regardless of whether this Act does or does not amend any particular provision of law..."

Click here to read the entire proposed bill

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