About Hawaii United for Marriage
Hawaii United for Marriage advocates for marriage equality in Hawaii. We support legislation that recognizes marriage for same-sex couples, applies provisions of the marriage law equally to same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples and protects clergy and religious institutions who refuse to recognize or solemnize marriage of same-sex couples.
Hawaii set the stage for the national dialogue on marriage:
- The Hawaii Supreme Court in 1993 issued a landmark decision that a ban on marriages between same-sex couples violated the state constitution’s prohibition against sex discrimination.
- Hawaii voters in 1998 approved a constitutional amendment that gave the Hawaii Legislature the authority to reserve marriage in Hawaii to opposite sex couples. The Legislature later passed a law that defined marriage as a union of a man and a woman.
- Despite the Hawaii legislative action, the Hawaii Supreme Court decision led other states to approve same-sex unions. Massachusetts was the first in 2004, followed by twelve other states and the District of Columbia. Hawaii addresses marriage in its constitution, it simply gives the authority to define marriage to the Legislature.