Gay couples anxiously await Monday

Same-sex couples set to legally marry in Hawaii.
Associated Press
Nov 30, 2013

Some same-sex couples plan to get married as soon as they're able to do so legally in Hawaii on Monday.

A ceremony for six couples at the Sheraton Waikiki is one of several wedding events planned soon after 12:01 a.m., when a new law allows gay couples to marry in the state.

Couples who want to get married as early as possible Monday won't have to wait until Hawaii's Health Department opens its doors at 8 a.m. Same-sex couples can begin applying for marriage licenses at 12:01 a.m., department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said.

Okubo said the state's marriage license application site will add options for bride and bride, groom and groom, or spouse and spouse.

The licenses can then be approved by any state-certified license agent around the state, Okubo said. The agents operate around the islands, including in resorts on Maui, the Big Island and Lanai. Okubo said the agents make their own arrangements and can quickly approve licenses through the online system.

Hawaii started the national gay marriage discussion in 1990 when two women applied for a marriage license, leading to a court battle and a 1993 Hawaii Supreme Court decision that said their rights to equal protection were violated by not letting them marry.

The case helped prompt Congress to pass the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which denied federal benefits to gay couples. Part of the law was struck down earlier this year by the U.S. Supreme Court, which led Gov. Neil Abercrombie to call the special session that produced Hawaii's gay marriage law.

An additional 14 states and the District of Columbia already allow same-sex marriage. Illinois was the 16th state to legalize it, and the law takes effect June 1.

Hotels and wedding planners across Hawaii expect to benefit from an estimated $217 million tourism boost over the next three years, with same-sex couples from other states seeking destination weddings.

The Sheraton's event shows that major hotels realize the business potential of the gay wedding market, said Honolulu Pride Chairman Michael Golojuch Jr., one of the event's organizers. "If you don't reach out to us, you're turning away money," he said. "We support companies that support us."

He said that since the governor signed the gay marriage bill, he's been noticing ads from the wedding industry targeting the gay community. But he has yet to see any marketing efforts from the state's tourism authority.

After the bill signing, Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO Mike McCartney said the agency expects gay marriage to have a positive effect on tourism.

For now, marketing efforts focus on regions and promoting the experience of a Hawaii vacation, an HTA spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Holding the ceremony at the Sheraton and donating the event space is both the right thing to do and a good business move, said Kelly Sanders, area managing director for Starwood Hotels and Resorts' four Waikiki properties, including the Sheraton.

"I think, overall, marriage and weddings is a key part of what we do in Hawaii," he said. "When you look at the GLBT market, the biggest thing is they need to know they're welcome. Hawaii is an all-inclusive destination."

The Rev. Libby Kelson-Fulcher of Big Island wedding planning company Weddings A La Heart said she's planning a Dec. 26 beachfront wedding for a lesbian couple from Salem, Ore., and is working on booking other gay weddings for January.

"I have a feeling 2014 is really going to be a busy year," she said. "I think this law is going to be an incredible boon for Hawaii."

When Keola Akana and Ethan Wung are married at the Sheraton on Monday, it will be more than a year after their 150-guest wedding. They threw a wedding for their civil union at an east Honolulu Episcopal church in July 2012.

"We didn't get federal rights, only state rights," he said. "We're going to be attaining all the rights our federal government, our country, offers. It's important that we mark this. ... We'll celebrate anniversaries for our July wedding and our December marriage."


Follow Jennifer Sinco Kelleher at




Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Profane, obscene, sexual or derogatory language.

The Answer Person

Bet you go to the Nazarene "Church"?


Good for them! Who is anybody to trample on someone's happiness? I have multiple gay friends and some gay family members. If that is what makes you truly happy, then who am I to deny that to you? As long as you don't try and push it onto me, you have my full support.

And for you bible thumpers, you may not agree with it, but you don't have to. It's not your life, it isn't affecting you any, unless you are letting it, let people be happy. If you don't like it, you don't have to read the article and you don't have to comment.


Except that it is, because governments are forcing business owners to participate whether they like it or not.

Pterocarya frax...

Which governments are forcing business owners to marry gays?

Pterocarya frax...

And that forces businesses owners to marry


How is the word "participate" construed to mean "marry"?

Pterocarya frax...

The article was about gay marriage. The comment Nemesis was responding to was about gay marriage. So when I read his/her comment about business owners being forced to participate, I assumed s/he was referring to gay marriage.

Now if he/she was just adopting the sloppy writing style of some SR columnists, and meant something else, how am I to know that?


Re: " meant something else,"

The misunderstanding was only in your mind.


Many parties participate in a marriage ceremony. Only one of them, the officiant, actually marries the couple. No sloppy style, just the clear English meaning of the words used.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Profane, obscene, sexual or derogatory language.


I would rather be a Bible thumper, then a same sex #umper !


Men lusting for other men or women lusting for other women are not the natural affections God created men and women to have for one another.

They were born either male or female, their lifestyle is a choice each makes.

Truth is hate to those who hate truth.


So you say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tell us all how you chose to be straight. I'm sure we all would love to hear it.


I was created that way.

God’s revelation on love as it applies to human sexuality is unambiguous. It is safe to conclude that God did not "create them this way". Just like God didn't create thieves, murderers and liberals.

Like all sin, the homosexual life style is a choice made from free will.


YOU were not created by god, because he does not create A-HOLES. You learned that, most likely from the "parents" that rasied you. They did a crappy job.


The only person I see here behaving inappropriately is you 4484..whatever. You sound off on what you think God does? Hypocrite. What gays want is total 100% acceptance from everyone, or there will be consequences, but it will NEVER happen.


A states rights (10th Amend.) approach - works for me.

If you wanna make it the "law of the land," our Founders set out procedures for the Constitution to be amended.

The Big Dog's back

More proof here of evolution. Right wingers still trying to evolve from apes.




Astounding ignorance.


Single mothers are appreciative. Can't understand gay thinking.


Re: "Can't understand gay thinking."

Good to see that you're admitting to being a homophobe.


kURTje.... exactly what does your comment mean?

You don't have to understand gay thinking. It's not YOUR way of life. It is theirs. You live your life the way you please, they deserve the same respect. Gays are human beings as well. If you want to sit here and judge people because they WERE born that way. Some choose to be gay yes. But most are born that way. Then you aren't human, you are a judgmental monster.

Yes, this is my opinion, I am entitled to my opinion, as you are yours.


What would anyone have to talk about if not for continually re-hashed arguments with no hope of resolution?

You are entitled to your opinion, no matter how uninformed. But your opinion would be more highly regarded if it were based in fact.

No one is born homosexual. Absolutely nothing supports your claim.

First, they ignore clear scientific data that human life begins at conception, in order to continue to advocate the legalized killing of humans.

Now, after science has refuted the claim that homosexuality is genetic, they cling to the gigantic fraud of epigenetics.

It must be true that “intelligent liberal” is an oxymoron. Equality, as defined by the liberal, is merely a rhetorical political slogan, devoid of its true meaning.

To define equality as non-judgmental acceptance is to promote a kind of moral relativism.

What’s the difference between a moral relativist and someone with no morals? Nothing.

The Big Dog's back

You have many, many years before you evolve.


Where is this "fact" and "science" that you claim has refuted the genetic claim? You cannot use any place that has religious affiliations since your religion hates science to begin with.

Your opinion also would be more highly regarded if it were based from fact and not a book of fiction.

Good luck. I'm waiting.


Google it, there iS NO scientific "proof" that homosexuality is genetic. Do any of you read?