HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday called for a special legislative session to move forward on a bill that would legalize gay marriage.
If lawmakers pass a bill, Hawaii would join 13 U.S. states and the District of Columbia in allowing gay marriage. The special session would begin on Oct. 28.
Hawaii is already among a handful of states that allow same-sex civil unions, which gay marriage advocates say stops short of the full benefits of marriage.
Proponents of gay marriage in the state renewed their efforts after seeing two U.S. Supreme Court rulings come down in line with their views in June. One ruling granted federal benefits to same-sex couples married in states where gay marriage is legal.
Abercrombie has been considering a special session since the rulings. He met privately last week with Democratic lawmakers in the House about the issue.
A draft of the bill released by his office last month proposes that Hawaii begin issuing marriage licenses next month. If passed, ceremonies could begin in November.
Support for the bill is tight in the House, and lawmakers discussed different portions of the bill Friday, House Speaker Joseph Souki said last week.
"I believe the governor does want to get this over with," he said. "Like most people he's getting tired of the pressure that he's getting on both sides."
Oskar Garcia can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia
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