Hawaii is right on the heels of Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, and depending on whether Illinois beats them to the chase, will be either the 15th or 16th state to sign marriage equality into law.
Hawaii sparked a national debate about marriage equality in 1993, when the state’s supreme court ruled that denying marriage rights to same-sex couples violates their rights. While the ruling sparked national backlash and was overturned in Hawaii, it paved the way for a national fight for marriage equality, including legal battles on the state level, The New York Times reports.
Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry and co-counsel of the historic 1993 case, declared, “With today’s vote by the Hawaii House of Representatives, we are close to bringing the freedom to marry home in the state where it all started… and we will continue working with Senate leaders over the days ahead to finish the job in the legislature and get the freedom to marry bill to the governor’s desk to be signed into law at long last.”
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