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What happens next

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:54 p.m. HST, Nov 12, 2013

QUESTION:  Now that the state Legislature has passed the marriage equality bill, what happens next to the measure?

ANSWER: Senate Bill 1, House Draft 1 now goes to Gov. Neil Abercrombie who has already said he will sign it into law.

Q: Once it is law, when will same-sex couples be able to marry in Hawaii?

A: The bill allows for legal gay marriages as soon as Dec. 2.

Q: What will happen to Hawaii-sanctioned civil unions now that the state plans to permit same-sex marriages?

A: In short: nothing. According to the state's registrar of vital statistics, the civil union law -- and reciprocal beneficiaries -- will remain unchanged. Neither will phase out as a result of same-sex marriage being passed. The bill passed today states that couples will not need to terminate their civil unions or reciprocal beneficiary relationships before marrying because the marriage will automatically do that for them. Additionally, rights, benefits, protections and responsibilities offered to the couple through the previous legal relationship will continue uninterrupted through the marriage and be considered to have accrued since the first date of the civil union or reciprocal beneficiary relationship.

Q: Will the opposition to same-sex marriage end with the new law?

A: No. Opponents vow to challenge the law in court once Abercrombie signs it. Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto on Thursday declined to issue a restraining order sought by opponents to halt action on the legislation, but said once the law is adopted, he will consider its constitutionality.

Q: Why did Abercrombie call the Legislature into a special session to pass the same-sex marriage bill instead of wait until the next regular session in January?

A: Abercrombie cited the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in June that struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act and allowed married same-sex couples to receive federal benefits. Abercrombie said a same-sex marriage law would need to be in effect by Dec. 31 for married same-sex couples to be able to take full advantage of tax benefits now offered by the federal government as a result of that decision.

Q: How many other states have legalized same-sex marriage?

A: If Abercrombie signs the bill soon as expected, Hawaii becomes the 15th state to legalize gay marriage. The Illinois Legislature approved a gay marriage bill last week, but Gov. Pat Quinn plans to sign it into law at a Nov. 20 ceremony.

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sooregonian wrote:
What Happens Next: The islands have a fragile tourism ecosystem, so when you have an abrupt eco-culture change you can kill off lucrative family visitors. After the novelty of a Hawaiian gay marriage wears off -- this is a lucrative but still niche market -- the visitor industry in collusion with palace pols will have to push for new revenues which may lead to gambling. Alas, Waikiki will likely end up becoming a Vegas or Bangkok within a decade. Mo betta be 50th State not 15th.
on November 12,2013 | 12:59PM
inverse wrote:
If what you say is true, why does San Francisco continue to remain one the most popular world destinations to visit? Waikiki is bad but that is because of crime, over development, constant construction projects, too many cars and buses, etc. One has nothing to do with the other.
on November 12,2013 | 01:19PM
sooregonian wrote:
@Inverse -- Salient post/reply. They did have a dot-com bust and SB1 could be another 9/11 for HI. S.F. is iconic and within a days driving distance (similar facts keep Vegas going) for millions. As you know, San Fran. has the economic engine of Silicon Valley and those workers have moved en masse to the city. The well-off have lots of visitors. S.F. just doesn't have to rely on long-term family visitors because of the adult-oriented attractions. Hi.can't capitalize on 48 hour visitors. Many families(mine to) are willing to turn a blind eye to unsavory denizens during a short stay. S.F. has been losing school age kids for a long time: not kid / family friendly, high rents and home prices, poorly performing schools (sound familiar?) I had a 6 month Waikiki experience and it was as you described. Waikiki will have to evolve to serve primarily wealthy adults who might be willing to overlook the LGBT folks. Maybe this is the tipping point. "The rents too damn high." What say you??
on November 12,2013 | 02:17PM
sooregonian wrote:
Inverse -- I'm thinking that Waikiki will have to be adult -oriented like San Francisco and Vegas. Do you recall when L.V. made an ill-fated attempt to attract families? S.F. is iconic and within a day's driving distance for millions. S.F.and Oakland airports. Professional sports teams. Thriving downtown corporate. Economic engine of Silicon Valley. Just hosted America's Cup. I lived the Waikiki experience for 6 months and it was as you described. San Fran has been losing families with children at a devastating scale; High rents and home prices, not a young kid friendly place, but mainly due to poorly performing public schools (sound familiar?) Anyway, fun to speculate. What say you?? I'm betting on gambling...
on November 12,2013 | 03:15PM
Happysahm wrote:
Never thought about that. What do our international friends think of gay marriage? I know we've had an increase of Chinese visitors. I wonder if that will have any affects.
on November 12,2013 | 06:07PM
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