Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law this morning a bill allowing gay marriage in Hawaii.
The bill signing, at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, had a party atmosphere, with live music by Willie K and Amy Hanaialii, and speeches from several legislators before Abercrombie took the stage.
“Today is a great day in Hawaii nei,” Attorney General David Louie said, adding the moment was history changing. It is a “new era of aloha for same sex couples who want to get married.”
Rep. Chris Lee, D-Kailua, Waimanalo, acknowledged some of the bill’s critics, who said the short, special legislative session was poorly timed.
“It is never the wrong time to do the right thing,” Lee said.
Abercrombie finally signed the bill nearly an hour after the invitation-only event, which was broadcast live on several Honolulu television stations, started. After completing the last stroke, Abercrombie smiled, then raised a hand in the air.
“Done,” he said, to applause, cheers and whistles.
Thousands of people testified for and against the bill during a five-day hearing in the state House last week. Tens of thousands more submitted written testimony. The state Senate approved the bill Tuesday.