Of the 9,640 marriages registered in the State of Hawaii since the state legalized same-sex marriage on Dec. 2, 2013, 1,417 of those have been same-sex couples, according to a May 15 news release from Equality Hawaii Foundation. The news release, which is based on data gathered by the state Department of Health (DOH), calls the 1,417 figure “impressive.”
“While we don’t measure rights in monetary terms, [this data] confirms economic studies that it made no sense for Hawaii to deny people their rights,” Equality Hawaii Foundation Director Don Bentz said in the news release.
Other data points included in the news release provide an interesting snapshot of Hawaii’s same-sex marriage industry. For instance, the DOH says that of those 1,417 marriages, 721 were between two men and 696 were between two women. And of those marriages, 368 of the male-male marriages (roughly 51 percent) were between one or two non-Hawaii residents. Looking at the female-female marriages, 374 (roughly 54 percent) were between one or two non-Hawaii residents.
Considering that this May 16 Huffington Post story says that initial estimates were that 3,200 same-sex couples would marry in Hawaii in the first three years after the law went into effect, it would seem that the state could easily best that figure in the first year. And while this is great news for civil rights advocates, the news release also included a sobering quote from Equality Hawaii Foundation donor Anita May Rosenstein about the larger world of discrimination that same-sex couples still live in:
“But the fact is that the majority of states still prohibit people like my friends Joanne and Denise from having a wedding like the one we are celebrating, and that’s not right. The LGBT communities here in Hawaii and in communities across our nation face challenges like the treatment of seniors, the issues of gay youth being bullied in schools, and any number of issues involving equitable access to social services. So while we are celebrating the wonderful and in some ways, historical moment, we cannot lose track of the fact that there is still a great deal of work to be done to eliminate discrimination in all its forms.”
Photo: Stefano Bolognini/Wikimedia Commons