Some church leaders back same-sex law

Some church leaders back same-sex law
Published: Aug. 18, 2013 at 11:07 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 19, 2013 at 2:52 AM HST
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Samuel Cox; Kailua Pastor
Samuel Cox; Kailua Pastor
State Rep. Chris Lee
State Rep. Chris Lee

For years, the stiffest opposition to same-sex marriages came from Hawaii's largest churches. But there's a growing movement within the religious community backing gay marriages.

On Monday, representatives from 30 faith-based organizations will sign a resolution calling for the state legislature to pass a same-sex law during a meeting at the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu in Nuuanu.

"I think support from our faith-based community is just the next big push that's going to make something like this happen," said State Rep. Chris Lee, D-Kailua, Waimanalo, who is calling for a special session on the same-sex marriage issue.

"There is clear majority in support in the general public right now, the Supreme Court has ruled and it's going to be a boon to our economy."

Kailua Pastor Samuel Cox is one of those church leaders who will attend tomorrow's meeting. He thinks Hawaii should have legalized same-sex marriages long ago.

"Many clergy is very much in support of same-sex marriage. I've been a very fervent supporter for many years," he said.

Kailua resident Claudia Webster is among the members in Cox's church who support same-sex marriages.

"I believe every person has the right to marry who ever they love," she said. "The couples who are living in a gay relationship do not have the legal rights to marriage do not have all of the opportunities and legal rights of marriage."

Convening a special session requires approval from Gov. Neil Abercrombie or a two-thirds vote from the state Legislature.

Any legislation will still likely see stiff opposition from some of the state's biggest churches and groups that hold that marriage should be between a man and woman.

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