After two decades of attempts at passing legislation that would provide equal marriage rights to same sex couples, Hawaii succeeded last night in a landslide 19-4 vote. Governor Neil Abercrombie is expected to sign the bill into law today at a special event, making Hawaii the 16th state to recognize that marriage is about love, rather than body parts.
Minutes after the historical vote, President Barack Obama weighed in on his home state’s decision:
“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.”
Once the Governor signs Hawaii’s same sex marriage bill, it will become effective on December 2.