Hawaii governor requests special legislative session on equality bill

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As Hawaii debates over legalizing marriage equality, Governor Neil Abercrombie requested a special legislative session on the equality bill.

“Every variation on a view with regard to the issue of marriage and equitable treatment for those engaged in marriage has been aired, has been analyzed, has been discussed,” Abercrombie said during a news conference at the Capitol. “No one has been left out or has been marginalized in the process to this point.”

After more than twenty years of discussion, Hawaii would be the fourteenth state to legalize marriage equality.

Expecting religious opponents, Abercrombie stressed that there is a religious exemption to help protect First Amendment rights.

“There are serious, deep and wide-ranging consequences,” Abercrombie said. “We’re trying to keep from imposing one set of views on each other that would end up with conflict and confrontation. We think that this bill achieves that delicate balance.”

The Democrat Party also holds the majority in Hawaii’s House with 44 to 7.

The session is set to begin on October 28. If it runs efficiently, the session would end in less than seven days; in the event of a victory, Hawaii could grant same-sex marriage licenses on November 18.

On June 26, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.

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