After a marathon hearing of over 5,000 people giving testimony in the Hawaii legislative special session on same sex marriage, the law-makers stood on the right side of history and passed SB1 making same sex marriage legal in the Great State of Hawaii!
Governor Abercrombie signed the bill into law today, November 13, 2013, making Hawaii the 15th state in the nation where same-sex marriage is fully equal and legal. Now that Hawaii has marriage equality, it means that all states recognizing same sex marriage will recognize couples wed here and vice versa. Additionally, same sex couples will receive the same federal benefits as opposite sex couples that are wed.
What’s the difference from the Civil Unions that Hawaii passed in 2011?
Civil Unions do not provide all of the same benefits federally that marriage equality does. This is tremendous news in situations such as surviving spouses who can collect social security and pensions of their deceased spouses along with over 1000 other benefits.
If we were joined in a Civil Union under the previous law in Hawaii, how can we obtain full marriage?
As we understand the proposed process, you will have to pay a fee to the state and file a new form online to convert the civil union to a full marriage status, you'll also have to go before an officiant. The great news about the new law is that it does not force the same sex couple to terminate their civil union or their reciprocal beneficiary agreement while awaiting their marriage license. For more information, you can read the full Bill below.
As we learn more about the process, we will keep you apprised on our own website and blog at http://www.mauisunseeker.com/weddings/hawaii-weddings.htm
We want to come to Maui to be married? How difficult is it and how much do we have to prepare?
The new law goes into effect on December 2, 2013 and the state is already to implement the changes as they have prepared for this law’s passage ahead of time.
To be wed in Hawaii, you do not need to take any physical exams or blood tests. The process is fairly simple and can be accomplished in a matter of a day. Both individuals will need to meet with an officiant and pay their fee of $65 for the license. If a beach or park wedding is to occur, an additional $15 will be paid for the permit to use public space. Then off you go with a wedding minister at the arranged date and time for the ceremony. All of this is arranged by our wedding coordinator and the fees for public space use is separate from the package prices mentioned below.
What kind of wedding packages does the Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort offer along with their wedding coordinator partners?
There are two aspects of the wedding that you must consider, the location of the ceremony and the service. After that, is the consideration of a reception, if an entire wedding party is coming to Maui with the couple.
About the location: Based on the preferences of the newlyweds, most weddings are conducted on a local beach by an officiant. As a general rule, most Maui weddings for same sex couples are normally just the wedding couple and a few close friends. You can choose to have your ceremony in any Maui public park or beach or you are welcome to use the Maui Sunseeker hotel grounds. As mentioned above, there is a $15 permit fee for public spaces and you are allowed to have groups up to 17 people present. Larger groups are welcome for a higher fee that is paid to Maui County. The hotel property has several lovely locations for ceremonies and receptions and the cost is very reasonable. If you prefer a church wedding, we have a very special relationship with Trinity Episcopal Church by-the-Sea. It’s an outdoor church set in the historic Hawaiian ruins in Kihei and is available to any religion. The Episcopal Church is a Christian religion that blesses and performs same sex weddings or if you have your own minister (from any religion) you may still rent the outdoor church location for day or night weddings. Please contact us for more information about location by either calling 808-879-1261.
About the wedding coordinator service: Through our wedding coordinator partners we offer several different packages ranging $411.49 up to $1649.49. For more details on the wedding packages, please Click Here
How far in advance should you book your wedding and Maui honeymoon?
Our advice would be to book early and as far in advance as possible. Our phones are already ringing and we are booking weddings and honeymoons. As a guideline, we would suggest at least a minimum 3-5 months out to make sure you get your desired date. In addition, booking that far out, will give you greater flexibility with booking airline tickets and renting cars, along with your hotel reservations.
If I am a resident of another country other than the United States, will my same sex marriage done in Hawaii be legal in my home country?
This is a tricky question. We suggest that you do your research in your home country before you make the step for a same sex marriage in Hawaii. From what we understand, if your home country recognizes same sex unions, then getting married in Hawaii “should” be recognized in your home country. But we highly recommend you consult experts in your home country. Alternatively, you can do the legal side in your home country and do a vow renewal/symbolic ceremony in Hawaii on a beautiful beach and have your honeymoon in paradise.
History is made today in Hawaii
We couldn’t be prouder to be a resident of Hawaii than we are today and a citizen of this great nation where we stand a bit more equal than we have in the past. The aloha spirit is very much alive and welcoming to all and if we can offer any assistance with questions or plans for your special day, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +1-808-879-1261