Marriage equality bill could be signed by Wednesday

Marriage equality bill could be signed by Wednesday
Published: Nov. 11, 2013 at 9:20 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2013 at 9:56 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Planning the signing ceremony is like planning a wedding. The governor's office is still working on the invitation list and the venue. It could be held in the Capitol auditorium but that still could change.

The jubilation is expected to continue for same sex marriage supporters. The Senate already voted 20 to 4 backing the bill and the amendments aren't expected to change any minds in Tuesday's final vote. Then it goes to the Governor for final approval.

"We're on the cusp of becoming one of the states that is going to be recognizing marriage equity," said Blake Oshiro, Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Neil Abercrombie.

The earliest the Governor would sign it into law is Wednesday morning. His office does not want it to turn into a public spectacle and security is a concern so it will likely be limited to about 200 invited guests.

"We're going to make it as broad as possible for all of the key advocates that have been working on this for a long time but at the same time we are going to be having some security measures to make sure that the event remains consistent with the celebratory mood of what the governor wants," said Oshiro.

Once it becomes law, gay couples could start getting married by December 2nd. It is supposed to be a smooth transition from civil unions to marriages with the online process already in place. Any civil unions will automatically be dissolved for those couples that also get married.

"Because they already had an online system for civil unions much of that will remain the same for this new marriage process," said Oshiro.

The Department of Health has already been working on the transition for a few weeks and will not need any additional money to make the switch.

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