Governor to decide soon on special session for same-sex marriage

Gov. Neil Abercrombie

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Gov. Neil Abercrombie says he’ll decide soon about calling a special session on same-sex marriage.

He met with House Democrats and Republicans behind closed doors Friday, discussing concerns about the draft of the gay marriage bill handed out last week.

“Will you be holding a special session?” KHON2 asked.

“I’ll be making a decision on that very shortly,” Gov. Abercrombie said.

The governor would not say exactly when that decision would come, but said he had very good discussions with House members.

“I think everything that could be said, has been said. And so as quick as I can, I’ll make a decision,” Gov. Abercrombie said.

In the bill, Hawaii would issue same-sex marriage licenses beginning next month and ceremonies in November.

Although the Senate has enough votes to support it, it’s been neck-and-neck in the House.

“At this point, the votes are still very close and we’re still working on the vote before we can give it to the governor,” said Rep. Joe Souki, House Speaker.

Rep. Souki believes the governor is waiting for a vote count before making a decision.

If the governor calls a special session, it would cost nearly $26,000 and last five days, which some people are worried about.

“A special session doesn’t necessarily give the public in general enough time to be able to meaningfully have access to the democratic process,” said Rep. Aaron Johanson, House Minority Leader.

“We would hope that we can resolve this in a relatively short time because we all don’t enjoy the pressure we’re getting from the community,” Rep. Souki said.

Hawaii does allow same-sex civil unions. If it legalizes gay marriage, it would be the 14th state to do so.

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