Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced late Sept. 9 that he will call a special session to consider marriage equality legislation.
An announcement from Equality Hawaii board member Steven Levinson said, “Since this morning, we’ve counted the votes over and over again and I won’t sugarcoat it: it’s going to be extremely close. Several lawmakers still haven’t decided which way they’ll vote. If we’re going to win their support, it’s going to take the most rigorous lobbying and grassroots organizing program we’ve ever run. We have to mobilize tens of thousands of supporters to take action in key districts across the state.”
The Democratic governor said the legislative session will convene on Oct. 28, that’s less than a week after Illinois lawmakers will meet for a veto session, which could include a vote on marriage equality in the House.
Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage.
Hawaii, in the mid-1990s, was poised to become the first state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage. But, instead, Hawaii passed a constitutional amendment allowing the Legislature to reserve marriage for heterosexual couples.
In 2012, Hawaii enacted civil union legislation, but participation has been low.