A gay marriage law approved last month
takes effect in Hawaii on Monday.
Several gay and lesbian couples are
preparing to marry soon after 12:01 AM.
A midnight ceremony at the Sheraton
Waikiki hotel will include three of the couples who first legalized
their relationships in civil unions in 2012. They will be joined by
three additional couples.
Gay couples do not have to wait until
the Hawaii Health Department opens its doors at 8 AM, they can begin
the application process online at 12:01 AM.
According to one estimate, the law will
provide the Hawaii economy with a $217 million boost over the next
“I think, overall, marriage and
weddings is a key part of what we do in Hawaii,” Kelly Sanders,
area managing director for Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which owns
four Waikiki properties, including the Sheraton, told the AP. “When
you look at the GLBT market, the biggest thing is they need to know
they're welcome. Hawaii is an all-inclusive destination.”