East Hawaii News

Same-Sex Marriage Legal Across the Country

June 26, 2015, 10:24 AM HST
* Updated June 26, 6:19 PM
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***Updated at 6:15 p.m. include statements from Governor David Ige and Attorney General Douglas Chin. ***

Hawai’i State officials commented on Friday’s United States Supreme Court ruling of legalized same-sex marriages nationwide. The debate of marriage equality has been one that Hawai’i has had a hand in for decades, according to the Office of the Attorney General. In 1993, the Hawai’i Supreme Court decided upon the first court decision in the United States to acknowledge that same-sex couples had the right to marry whomever they love through constitutional law.

Governor David Ige commented on the ruling, acknowledging Hawai’i’s role in the Friday’s decision.

“In 1993, Hawai‘i galvanized the national conversation on the right of same-sex couples to marry. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’ I was proud to be part of that arc when I voted for marriage equality in Hawai‘i in 2013 as a State Senator,” Governor Ige said. “Hawai‘i has truly led the way. Now more Americans than ever support marriage equality and our nation’s highest court has affirmed that it is a fundamental right for all Americans. This is a great day for Hawai‘i and for our country. I echo President Obama’s words this morning when he said that ‘we have made our union a little more perfect.’”

Attorney General Douglas Chin also placed an emphasis on the rights of those who have been married in Hawai’i. “For same-sex couple who married in Hawai’i and reside here, today’s decision does not alter the recognition of their marriage, as provided in Hawai’i’s marriage equality act. But the Supreme Court’s decision means that Hawai’i residents will not lose the protections of marriage when they travel to the mainland.”

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*** Original story posted at 10:24 a.m. ***

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A 5-4 decision Friday by the United States Supreme Court in the Obergefell vs. Hodges case will make the recognition of marriage of same-sex couples legal across all 50 states, even when the marriages were lawfully performed out of state.

In November 2013, Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a Hawai’i bill into law that made same-sex marriages legal in the state.

The new legislation from the U.S. Supreme Court legalizes the recognition of marriages of same-sex couples across the country.

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U.S. Senator Brian Schatz commented on the ruling as a “big win for gay rights, for civil rights, and for human rights.”

“Every committed couple, whether they are gay or straight, deserves to be treated equally under the law. With this historic ruling, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed what most Americans already know – the Constitution protects the rights of every American, regardless of who they love,” Senator Schatz said in a statement.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard noted that as a country that is not a theocracy, the United States must handle its involvement in marriage with fairness.

“I applaud the Supreme Court’s ruling today,” Congresswoman Gabbard said, noting that the ruling is an important victory in conducting fairness in marriage across the board.

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