Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) has called the state legislature back into special session to vote on legalizing same-sex marriage, a step that likely means he’s corralled the necessary votes to pass a bill.
Democrats have overwhelming majorities in both the state House and Senate, but some Democratic legislators weren’t on board with a same-sex marriage bill. Party leaders met in late August to count the votes; Abercrombie said he would call a special session if legislators could agree on language that would withstand a court challenge.
“The merits of holding a special session include the opportunity for the Legislature to focus squarely on this important issue, without having to divert attention to the hundreds of other bills introduced during a regular session,” Abercrombie said in a statement.
Hawaii was one of the first states to put a ban on same-sex marriages in its constitution, back in 1998. But in 2011, the legislature legalized civil unions for same-sex couples. Now, with Democrats controlling 44 of 51 state House seats and all but one of the 25 seats in the state Senate, the state is likely headed for a full reversal.
The legislature will meet Oct. 28 to consider the bill.