Love with PRIDE: Celebrating Marriage Equality in Hawai‘i
Photography by Jaycob Sierra
In honor of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, join us in celebrating the 30th anniversary of the movement toward marriage equality in Hawai‘i.
At its core, weddings are all about celebrating a couple’s perennial love for and commitment to one another. For queer couples, this momentous occasion has been an even more significant event for those in the LGBTQ+ community, as same-sex marriage has been officially legal for only a decade.
Hawai‘i has been a longtime and inclusive supporter of these stories and celebrations. This year marks the 30 year anniversary since Hawai‘i lead the conversation around legalizing same-sex marriage in the United States. The state has since become a staple in the movement toward creating safe spaces for non-traditional couples.
The conversation first began in the ‘90s when three same-sex couples in Hawai’i applied for marriage licenses but were denied by the Department of Health, which inspired them to file the historic court case, known as Baehr v. Miike, arguing that Hawai‘i’s prohibition of same-sex marriage violated the state constitution.
The couples were represented by local civil rights attorney, Daniel Foley. Although the court dismissed the case, Foley appealed to the Hawai‘i Supreme Court and in 1993, the court ruled that it was unconstitutional to discriminate against same-sex marriage. With Baehr v. Miike, Hawai‘i took the lead in starting the fight for legalizing same-sex marriage in the United States.
In the following 20 years, the community continued to work toward marriage equality both on the state and on the national level. Same-sex marriage was finally legalized in Hawai‘i in 2013 when the state legislature passed the Hawai’i Marriage Equality Act. Two years later, the landmark US Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges established same-sex marriage throughout the country thus serving as the culmination of decades of effort toward marriage equality in the United States.
For 30 years, Hawai‘i has remained the leading voice in the persistent fight for marriage equality. Today, we proudly celebrate alongside all of our readers as you commemorate your unique love stories and participate in the timeless tradition of marriage, regardless of gender, sexuality, or the body that you live in.
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