US: Hawaii Congressional Delegates: Gay couples ‘should not have to wait’ for equal marriage

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

Hawaii’s congressional delegation has issued statements urging the immediate introduction of legislation to allow legal recognition of same-sex marriage.

The four-strong delegation released the statements on Friday, including Senator Mazie Hirono, who said that same-sex couples “should not have to wait” to be able to marry.

This latest push comes following June’s Supreme Court ruling which struck down a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and which allowed over a thousand benefits to be afforded to gay married couples.

The deputy chief of staff for Governor Neil Abercrombie, told the Associated Press that he is open to calling a special session, but if not, the vote would be in January.

Polls suggest that Hawaiians are in favour of legalising equal marriage. The state allows civil unions, but those do not automatically qualify couples for federal benefits.

A New Jersey court case began on Thursday to hear oral arguments in a test of the implications of the Supreme Court ruling which struck down key sections of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), to find out what it means for that state.

On 26 June, the US Supreme Court announced that it had found DOMA unconstitutional. It had previously defined marriage as between one man and one woman, and the Supreme Court decision paved the way for over 1,100 benefits, previously not afforded to same-sex couples.