Hawaii to Offer Same-Sex Couples Marriage Benefits
In 1993, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that a state law banning same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. In response, the Hawaii legislature has passed a law which would allow same-sex couples marriage benefits. Governor Ben Cayentano has said he will sign the bill granting such spousal benefits as medical insurance, state pensions, inheritance rights and the right to sue for wrongful death. Same-sex couples will not have, under the law, the right to divorce, have child custody, or file joint income taxes. Couples must apply for the benefits; the state expects anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 couples to apply for the benefits within the next three months. In return for the benefits, the legislature will propose to Hawaii voters a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.
Media Resources: CNN- July 7, 1997