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History of the Hawaii Gay Marriage Movement

An introduction to the history of the Hawaii same-sex marriage movement, also known as the Hawaii Gay Marriage movement. Includes information about a 1996 Same-Sex Marriage trial in Hawaii,

Hawaii Civil Union Bill Making Progress
In early February of 2009 the Hawaii Legislature House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would permit civil unions between same sex couples. The full Hawaii House of Representatives will vote on the law the second week of February 2009 and most peop0le expect it to pass. The bill would civil union partners the same benefits, protections, and responsibilities as married couples and it recognizes civil unions, domestic partnerships, and same-sex marriages performed in other U.S. states.

Civil Unions Bill Proposed
At least two civil union bills were proposed between 2007 and 2008.

Domestic Partnership Bill Introduced
A domestic partnership act was proposed in 1999 but it expired in 1999.

Hawaii Voters Amend Constitution to Disallow Gay Marriage
Hawaii voters amended the constitution of the State of Hawaii in a way that allows state legislatures to restrict marriage to a man and a women only, effectively ending the in-progress gay marriage lawsuit.

Hawaii Enacts Reciprocal Beneficiary Relationships Law
In 1997 the State of Hawaii established and recognized a type of relationship called a "reciprocal beneficiary relationship" that could be entered into by both same-sex and opposite-sex unmarried couples who were at least 18 years of age and not legally allowed to marry in Hawaii.. The partnership gave both parties certain (limited) rights and benefits that would otherwise be available only to married couples. There was resistance on the part of the legislature to calling this new relationship a domestic partnership.

Baehr vs Lewin Ruling Supported Gay Marraige in Hawaii
A Hawaii trial court ruled that prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying was not justifiable for any reason, and that the same-sex couples who had filed a discrimination lawsuit should be allowed to marry. The court ordered the State of Hawaii to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples who applied for them.

1994-1995 Bill Limited Marriage But Created Sexual Orientation Committee
A two part bill passed in 1995 that (a) confirmed and reaffirmed that marriage in Hawaii was limited to a relationship between a man and a woman, and (b) created a Commission on Sexual Orientation and the Law to identify and eliminate discrimination against same sex couples in Hawaii.

1990 Lawsuit Filed by Three Same Sex Hawaii Couples
A lawsuit was filed in 1990 by three same-sex couples who were not permitted to marry in Hawaii. The couples were Ninia Baehr and Genora Dancel, Tammy Rodrigues and Antoinette Pregil, and Pat Lagon and Joseph Melilio.

Same Sex Marriages and Civil Unions in Hawaii: 1990-2007
This history of Hawaii same-sex marriage advocacy, trails, and rulings is on the Web site of the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, a Canadian inter-faith group that promotes tolerance between religious groups and advocates against discrimination. Includes information about a 1990 lawsuit, the progress of that lawsuit, Hawaii's 1996 proposed constitutional amendment, the 1997-1999 legislative activity related to that proposal, the 2007 proposal to legalize civil unions in Hawaii.

Hawaii Same Sex Marriage Legislative Actions: 1994-1999
Includes information about the 1993 Hawaii Supreme Court opinion, the 1995 Hawaii Commission on Sexual Orientation and the Law, the 1996 Hawaii domestic partnership act (SB-3113) Article is on the Web site of the American Association for Single People.

More Articles About Gay Marriage in Hawaii
2008: Same Sex Wedding Would Be Windfall for Hawaii
1996: Gay Unions Scored Low in Star Bulletin Poll

See also:
- Hawaii for Gay and Lesbian Visitors
- Island-by-Island GLBT Hawaii Travel Guide

Related Links
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A NOTE FROM KATHIE: If you have any corrections or updates to the information on this page or if you would like us to add any information or links, please send a message to the email address on our contacts page.

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