Forty-five minutes past the stroke of midnight today, six couples became Hawaii’s first same-sex couples to marry.
The couples are Donna Gedge and Monica Montgomery (35 years), Paul Perry and Gary Bradley (11 years), Saralyn and Isajah Morales (four years), Shaun Campbell and Tony Singh (five years), Richard J. Rosehill and Shawna P. Okami (32 years) and Keola Akana and Ethan Wung (six years). They share a total of 93 years together, an average of over 15 years per couple.
“He has the biggest heart of anyone I know,” Campbell said of his new husband, according to the Star-Advertiser. “We take care of each other through all of the ups and downs. We’ve shared so many challenges and successes that I knew we could spend the rest of our lives together.”
“We have lived our lives as first-class citizens who are law-abiding, taxpaying, and contributing members of the community,” Gedge and Montgomery said in a prepared statement, as Honolulu Civil Beat reports. “Yet we are legally recognized as second-class citizens as we do not have Federal rights. Getting married means that we will have the first-class legal status as well as the rights and benefits that only marriage will afford us.”
At midnight, Michael Golojuch Jr., the chairman of the GLBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii who handled emcee duties, said, “Marriage equality is now the law of the land in the aloha state.”
Hawaii was the 15th state along with the District of Columbia to legalize gay marriage, and Abercrombie and Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui issued proclamations to mark Monday’s weddings. Illinois this month became the 16th state to follow suit, and its first gay wedding was held Nov. 27.
State Reps. Chris Lee, Della Au Belatti and Mark Takai were in attendance, as was state Sen. Will Espero and former lawmaker Jackie Young, who fought for civil rights for gays and lesbians since the early 1990s.
“We may be the 15th state to have marriage, but we were the first to rule that it was a possibility, and that was back in 1990,” said Young. “Chris Lee was 9 years old at the time.”
Honolulu Pride Chairman Michael Golojuch Jr., told the AP, “We started this battle 23 years ago and we get to finish it tonight.”
Image, top, by Ben Gutierrez via Facebook
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