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Hawaii Legalizes Gay Marriage

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    AP
    Gay marriage supporters rally outside the Hawaii Capitol in Honolulu ahead of a Senate vote on whether to legalize same-sex marriage on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. The bill allowing same-sex couples to wed on the islands starting Dec. 2 is expected to pass easily barring any unexpected surprises. (AP Photo/Oskar Garcia)

    It's official: Hawaii has legalized gay marriage. Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a new bill to recognize same-sex marriages into law Wednesday morning, after the state senate passed it Tuesday. With his signature, Hawaii became the 15th court to legalize gay marriage, 20 years after its top court issued the ruling that set the stage for the now-overturned federal Defense of Marriage Act. Hawaii's lawmakers passed the law after Abercrombie had called them into a special session in order to vote on the issue. As he signed their bill Wednesday, he quoted a lesbian friend who had told him, "Today was a moment that my community has fought for, for many, many decades. I have spent my entire life waiting for equality." Hawaii's move means that it has leap-frogged Illinois, whose lawmakers approved their own gay marriage bill last week but whose governor has said he will sign it next week, to become the 15th state to recognize gay marriage. Illinois will become number 16. (The District of Columbia also recognizes gay marriage.)