Hawaii hosts its first same-sex marriages and boosts economy in the process

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Hawaii, now the fifteenth state with marriage equality, began hosting its first same-sex weddings early on Monday, December 2, when the new law took effect.

The law allows people to register for a license and marry within the same day, which will allow tourists to marry when only in the state for a short time.

In Honolulu, a number of same-sex couples tied the knot in the Sheraton Waikiki shortly after midnight on Monday, as soon as the law officially took effect.

Amongst the dozens of same-sex couples to marry on Monday were an openly gay minister and his long-term partner of fifteen years. Clergy who actively pushed for the new law also attended their wedding.

The law was passed last month after a special session was called following the US Supreme court ruling. The law also allows married couples from other states to be recognized in Hawaii.

The chairman of Honolulu Pride, Michael Golojuch Jr., told USA Today, “We started this battle 23 years ago and we get to finish it tonight.”

With Hawaii’s second highest industry being tourism, behind military, businesses are hoping to take advantage of the gay wedding market in the upcoming years.

The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization has estimated that the same-sex wedding market could pull in an extra $69 million per year for Hawaii’s economy from 2014 to 2017.

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