Same-Sex Marriage Questions

Honolulu Star - Advertiser, November 13, 2013 | Go to article overview

Same-Sex Marriage Questions


Q. How many other states have legalized same-sex marriage?

When Gov. Neil Abercrombie signs the bill today, Hawaii will become the 15th state to legalize gay marriage. Illinois lawmakers approved a same-sex marriage bill last week, but Gov. Pat Quinn isn't set to sign it into law until Nov. 20. Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004. In 2008, California became the second state to legalize same-sex marriage, although a successful voter-introduced proposition halted marriages until this summer when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled they could resume. Connecticut also passed a same-sex marriage law in 2008. Three states and the District of Columbia passed laws in 2009; one in 2011; three in 2012; and six so far in 2013, including Illinois and Hawaii.

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I've always been proud to have been born in Hawaii, and today's vote makes me even prouder." Barack Obama The president congratulated Hawaii's Legislature on passing same-sex marriage bill

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Q. Why did the Legislature decide not to "let the people?vote" on how they want marriage to be defined, as so many opponents to same-sex marriage chanted and pleaded during the special session?

Some senators suggested in their arguments in favor of the same-sex marriage bill Tuesday that a constitutional amendment ratified by voters in 1998 gives the Legislature the power to limit marriage to one man and one woman but does not take away its power to create laws, including one to legalize same-sex marriage. Lawmakers and Gov. Neil Abercrombie have said that putting what they believe is a civil rights issue up for popular vote would be inappropriate. Abercrombie's office has also noted that changes to state law can be made only by the Legislature because Hawaii does not have a process that allows voters to place laws or constitutional amendments on the ballot by petition.

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It's all a setup. It's been a setup from the get-go." Nathan Paikai Christian pastor and same-sex marriage opponent

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Q. Why did Gov. Neil Abercrombie call the Legislature into a special session to pass a same-sex marriage bill instead of waiting until the next session to begin in January?

On Sept. 9, Abercrombie cited the U.S. Supreme Court's determination in June that the Defense of Marriage Act's restriction of marriage to heterosexual couples was unconstitutional as an impetus to call the session. He also said a same-sex marriage law would need to be in effect by Dec. 31 so that married same-sex couples could take full advantage of tax benefits now offered by the federal government. "A remedy delayed is a remedy denied," the governor's website says. "Holding a special session will allow the Legislature to truly focus on this important issue of equality and equity, without having to divert attention to the hundreds of other bills introduced during a regular session." ------

"The simple privilege of having a family with a father and a mother -- to me it can't be more basic." Leon Dodson Member, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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Q.Why marriage -- why isn't the state's civil unions law sufficient for same-sex couples? …

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