Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hawaii: Not time for special legislative session for marriage equality

It's looking like Hawaii still doesn't have the votes to pass marriage equality in the state House:

State House Speaker Joseph Souki said today that Gov. Neil Abercrombie informed him that he was not ready to call a special session on gay marriage.

Souki would not say whether the House had the votes for a gay marriage bill after House Democrats met in private caucus to discuss a special session. The governor had been waiting for a House vote count before making his decision on a special session. The state Senate has the votes for a gay marriage bill.

When you have the votes, you call the vote. With all the support in the state legislature plus the Governor, you can trust there would be a special session if the votes were there.

UPDATE: According to the AP, Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Wednesday presented state lawmakers with a draft of legislation that would legalize gay marriage in Hawaii.

Abercrombie told reporters he would not rush a special session, or call one without lawmakers having a clear idea of what to do.

"I’m simply not going to consider a special session if it becomes something that gets dragged out and a recycling of previous history," he said. "The bill’s there, we’re going to make ourselves available."

He said his administration would let lawmakers digest the bill, and then discuss whether to have a special session.

According to an 18-page draft of the legislation released by Abercrombie’s office, Hawaii would begin issuing licenses Oct. 3, with ceremonies allowed to begin Nov. 1.

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