Bil Browning

Is Hawaii the 15th or 16th Marriage Equality State?

Filed By Bil Browning | November 13, 2013 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: freedom to marry, gay marriage, Hawaii, Illinois, marriage equality, New Jersey, same-sex marriage

bigstock-Question-6238425.jpgAfter last night's state senate vote, Hawaii became the next state to legalize same-sex marriage. Governor Neil Ambercrombie will sign the legislation today at 3pm Eastern/Noon Pacific. The state becomes the third in three weeks to recognize marriage equality.

A New Jersey court ruling went into effect two weeks ago making it the 14th state to grant gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry and lovers are already getting hitched. Illinois' legislature passed similar legislation last week and the Governor will sign it into law on November 20; marriages cannot start until June of 2014, however.

This has raised a conundrum among our LGBT historians. Illinois passed their marriage equality legislation before Hawaii, but the Hawaiian Governor will sign the bill - making it official - before Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signs that state's new bill into law. Marriages will also start first in Hawaii.

So does this make Hawaii the 16th state to legalize same-sex marriage as many media outlets are reporting? Or does it technically make it the 15th?

Most importantly of all, isn't it amazing that we can start arguing about the order of state's legalizing our relationships now that almost a third of the nation's population have the freedom to marry?


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