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Marriage equality 2013: Religious leaders in Hawaii unite for gay marriage

On Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Hawaii gaymarriageReligious leaders in the state of Hawaii are coming together to ‘stand on the right side of history.” As resorted by the Associated Press on August 19, over two dozen Hawaii faith leaders have signed a resolution on Monday calling for the legalization of gay marriage.

The leaders, representing various religions, signed and read a declaration asking lawmakers to extend civil marriage benefits to same-sex couples in the state of Hawaii which currently has a civil unions law.

Inspired by the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in states like Minnesota and Rhode Island, the group is prepared to push the issue until more people are on board and lawmakers hear their prayers. Dr. Jonipher Kupono Kwong of the First Unitarian Church believes the time is now and is more determined than ever as the civil recognition of all relationships is about fairness and equal rights.

The group of religious leaders do have lawmakers on their side. Rep. Chris Lee, a Hawaii House member, is one of them and has been pushing for a gay marriage law. He does see a chance in some lawmakers, especially through the influence of the two Supreme Court rulings. He believes a special session by the Legislature would encourage a passing of a gay marriage law. Lee told the Associated Press that “there is no reason to wait for justice and equality.”

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie does expect that there will be a special session to take up the issue and he also supports legalizing same-sex marriage in the state which shows a growing support for marriage equality laws both religiously and on a political level.

The signing of he declaration did not include leaders from religious groups who have opposed gay marriage in the state previously.

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