Gay weddings become reality in Hawaii with new law
HONOLULU (AP) Gay marriages began Monday in Hawaii with six couples at a Waikiki resort exchanging vows side-by-side in front of a few hundred guests while more same-sex couples watched and waited their turn.
Elsewhere in Honolulu, an openly gay Unitarian minister wed his partner of 15 years in a ceremony attended by clergy who pushed for the new marriage law and Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
Tourism is the lifeblood of Hawaii and officials believe the islands will benefit from the new law. An estimate from a University of Hawaii researcher says the state will get a $217 million tourism boost over the next three years as a result of gay marriage.
Agents have set up shop throughout the islands, from resorts on Maui and the Big Island to hard-to-reach places on Kauai.