NPR : News

Filed Under:

Hawaii Set To Take Up Gay Marriage In Special Session Monday

The next state to legalize same-sex marriage may be Hawaii, where the state's Legislature will begin a special session on the issue Monday. The governor called the session so that lawmakers could consider the Marriage Equality Act, which would allow same-sex couples to wed.

NPR's Nathan Rott reports for our Newscast unit:

"The gay marriage debate is nothing new to Hawaii. In 1990, gay couples who applied for a marriage license there helped start the national debate that resulted in the Defense of Marriage Act, the law that was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year.

"Proponents for same-sex marriage, including Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, are trying to ride national momentum, pushing for legislation that would make Hawaii the 15th state to legalize gay marriage. They argue that the bill extends the state's Aloha spirit of equality and would spur tourism.

"Opponents of the bill have organized protests, saying that Hawaiian voters should decide the issue, not the state's lawmakers."

Gay marriage was in a legal gray area in Hawaii after 1993, when the state's supreme court ruled in favor of the unions. But a constitutional amendment that was adopted five years later took jurisdiction from the courts and gave it to the Legislature, which then banned same-sex marriages.

In Honolulu, this weekend has been marked by rallies organized by groups on both sides of the issue, Hawaii News Now reports. More rallies will take place Monday.

On Sunday, the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii voted to support the bill — "the largest denomination to announce its support of an issue that has divided people of faith," The Honolulu Star Advertiser says.

If it is approved, the measure would take effect on Nov. 18. A public hearing on the matter will be part of the special session Monday, according to the Hawaii Legislature's website.

In addition to the 14 states where same-sex marriage is already legal, the District of Columbia has also recognized the marriages. As a recent map by The Washington Post shows, 35 states have enacted laws restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Auction Of Artifacts In Paris Stirs Protest At American Indian Museum In D.C.

"It's almost like seeing one of our own tribal members being auctioned off," says a member of California's Hoopa tribe who denounced the auction during an event at the National Museum of the American Indian.

NPR

We Don't Know How Many Workers Are Injured At Slaughterhouses. Here's Why

Injuries in the meat industry are likely to be under-reported, a new GAO report finds. Workers may be sent back to the line without seeing a doctor, or may not report out of fear of losing their jobs.
WAMU 88.5

Power Plant Fight In Prince George's County

A predominantly African American community in rural Prince George's County recently filed a federal civil rights complaint in response to plans to build a third power plant in one town, and fifth in the region.

NPR

Reports Peg Tech Billionaire As Funder Of Hulk Hogan's Case Against Gawker

Silicon Valley entrepreneur Peter Thiel is said to be bankrolling the ex-wrestler's lawsuit. Gawker is appealing a jury verdict that awarded Hogan $140 million over the 2012 publication of a sex tape.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.