First same-sex wedding happens in Hawaii
Newlyweds made history just after midnight, as the first same-sex wedding in Hawaii took place very early Monday morning.
The wedding was filled with song, smiles and even a few laughs.
"I fell in love with you when I realized we both stole hotel soaps and took pineapple juice from airline lounges," said Chris Nelson.
This was a first though for the Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong, even though he had officiated dozens of weddings with the Unitarian Church. He, along with his fiance Nelson, was the first same-sex couple to get married in Hawaii.
"As I look at Jonipher and Chris, I see the start of a new era of aloha, a more equal chapter in Hawaii history, but most of all I just see two people in love," said Rep. Kaniela Ing during the ceremony.
"You are about to do something that you have not done, even in 15 years of being together and until recently you could not do," said Rabbi Peter Schaktman.
Many shared their joy for the happy couple, and for others who have waited years, even decades, to get married in Hawaii.
"At this time, at this place, a more humane world comes into being," said Gov. Neil Abercrombie during the ceremony.
After the vows had been exchanged, and the marriage official Kwong stated, ''We feel great. It feels like the completion of a very long journey."
For the state, the wedding was just the start. After midnight, two dozen couples filed their completed marriage ceremonies with the Department of Health for certification. More than a dozen more submitted marriage applications online.
State personnel said there were no problems with the changes made to the DOH website to accommodate same-sex weddings.
After the initial rush to tie the knot from Hawaii residents, DOH personnel are now expecting for an increase in weddings from visitors.
"We anticipate a larger number of people coming forward from out-of-state to marry in Hawaii. Our traditional marriages are more predominantly visitors than people from Hawaii." said Keith Yamamoto, the deputy director for the Department Of Health.
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