Hawaii officially becomes 15th state to recognize same-sex marriage

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Hawaiian governor Neil Abercrombie signed legislation on Wednesday officially legalizing same-sex marriage in the Aloha state following its passage through the Senate on Tuesday. 

“In Hawaii, we believe in fairness, justice and human equality,” Abercrombie said Tuesday after the state Senate passed the bill. “Today, we celebrate our diversity defining us rather than dividing us.”

Reuters reports that Abercrombie signed the measure at an invitation-only ceremony at the Hawaii Convention Center. 

Couples living in Hawai’i and tourists visiting will be able to marry in the state starting December 2nd. 

An estimate from a University of Hawaii researcher puts the economic boost from marriage tourism at $217 million over the next three years. 

Opponents to the legislation are still making plans, however, as Representative Bob McDermott of the House, who filed a lawsuit to derail the special session, has praised a new challenge now that Abercrombie has signed the bill. 

Legislation in Illinois is still pending a signature from Governor Pat Quinn, which will make it the 16th state to legalize marriage equality. 

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