The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Breaking News

December 2, 2013

Gay weddings become reality in Hawaii with new law

HONOLULU —  Same-sex couples are taking advantage of Hawaii's newfound aloha for gay weddings.

Six couples at a Waikiki resort tied the knot early Monday, exchanging vows side-by-side with one another in front of a few hundred guests shortly after midnight, while even more couples watched and waited their turn.

Across town, an openly gay Unitarian minister wed his partner of 15 years in a ceremony attended by clergy who pushed for the new law, plus Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who called the special legislative session that led to the law.

"One hundred percent tuned (out) everything else but her," Saralyn Morales said moments after cutting a small wedding cake after marrying her partner, Isajah Morales. "It's about making that commitment to the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with."

Hawaii's marriage laws allow couples to register for a license and be married the same day, a process conducive for tourists only in the state a short time.

Couples can sign up for a license online then be verified by any license agent throughout the state. Agents have set up shop throughout the islands, from resorts on Maui and the Big Island to hard-to-reach places on Kauai.

Saralyn and Isajah Morales began filling out license applications a few minutes after midnight along with other couples. Several license agents huddled around four laptops in a tiny conference room, refreshing their web browsers to coax a state-run website to load. A few feet away, wedding guests sipped champagne, dined on curried shrimp and portabella mushroom sliders, listened to piano music and took pictures with each of seven cakes on display for the occasion.

Couples who walked in to register on the spot posed with a three-tiered centerpiece cake, adorned with pink and white roses.

"Next!" Keola Akana exclaimed after being the first of the group to complete the license application with his groom, Ethan Wung.

Akana said he and Wung were getting married after entering into a civil union last year so they could receive federal benefits.

"Got dinged on taxes last year because we're not legally married federally, and we will be married for taxes this year," Akana said. "Now we're equal to everybody in Hawaii that's married, everybody in the nation and the world that's legally married, so that's an honor."

One of the organizers, Honolulu Pride Chairman Michael Golojuch Jr., said early Monday that more than three dozen couples had signed up to wed.

"It's just exciting and historic and we wanted to be a part of it," Maria Gallo, a Honolulu resident who planned to marry her partner, Beth Creary, said Sunday, several hours before standing in line for a license agent at the resort.

"This is like a confirmation with a group of people here who are sharing our joy," she said.

For those wanting to get licenses in person, Hawaii's Health Department planned to open its doors at 8 a.m. Monday.

"We started this battle 23 years ago and we get to finish it tonight," Golojuch Jr. said.

Hawaii is often credited with starting the national gay marriage discussion, when couples applying for a marriage license led to a court fight that eventually helped prompt Congress to pass the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. Part of the law was struck down earlier this year by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Golojuch said the weddings will touch Hawaii in a good way and that businesses have begun to think about how to embrace the gay community.

"They opened up their doors to us, their hearts to us," Golojuch said. "That's what we're seeing with a lot of the business community that understands that $217 million is what our economy needs to keep on going."

An estimate from a University of Hawaii researcher says the state will get a $217 million tourism boost over the next three years as a result of gay marriage.

Hawaii's Legislature — overwhelmingly composed of Democrats — passed the law last month during a special session. Abercrombie called for the special session after the U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

 

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Beef pollutes more than pork, poultry, study says

    Raising beef for the American dinner table does far more damage to the environment than producing pork, poultry, eggs or dairy, a new study says.

    July 22, 2014

  • High child poverty casts pall over gains in Hoosier schools

    Indiana children are doing better in school, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, but the high rate of child poverty remains a big concern.

    July 22, 2014

  • Check doctors' vitals, before they check yours

    Americans consider insurance and a good bedside manner in choosing a doctor, but will that doctor provide high-quality care? A new poll shows that people don't know how to determine that.

    July 21, 2014

  • Afghan vet who fought wounded gets Medal of Honor

    Bleeding from both legs and his arm, Ryan Pitts kept firing at about 200 Taliban fighters, even holding onto his grenades an extra moment to ensure the enemy couldn't heave them back. On Monday, President Barack Obama draped the Medal of Honor around his neck, in a somber White House ceremony that also paid tribute to his nine platoon comrades who died that summer day in Afghanistan.

    July 21, 2014

  • NASA names building for moonwalker Neil Armstrong

    NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

    July 21, 2014

  • Indy to use computer game to teach kids about law

    Indianapolis police are trying out an interactive computer game based on television's "Jeopardy!" to prevent teenagers from falling into lives of crime by teaching them about the consequences of breaking Indiana's laws.

    July 21, 2014

  • McDonald's, KFC in China face new food scandal

    McDonald's and KFC in China faced a new food safety scare Monday after a Shanghai television station reported a supplier sold them expired beef and chicken.

    July 21, 2014

  • Friend convicted of impeding Boston Marathon probe

    A college friend was convicted Monday of trying to protect Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by agreeing with another friend to get rid of a backpack and disabled fireworks they took from his dorm room three days after the attack.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hopkins settles pelvic exam suits for $190 million

    Johns Hopkins Hospital has agreed to a $190 million settlement with more than 8,000 patients of a gynecologist who secretly photographed and videotaped women's bodies in the examining room with a pen-like camera he wore around his neck, lawyers said Monday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Train with plane crash bodies leaves rebel town

    A refrigerated train bearing the bodies of many of the 298 people killed in the Malaysia Airlines plane disaster pulled away Monday afternoon from a rebel-held town in eastern Ukraine.

    July 21, 2014

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Do you expect your physician to follow state standards and laws?

Of course
Not always
Never thought about it
     View Results