Who's Next? The Marriage Equality Waiting Room

Which states will be the next to institute marriage equality — and just how will it happen?



16. Hawaii, 11.933

Legal activity in Hawaii during the 1990s was the major catalyst for the rest of the country, as states scrambled to institute bans on marriage equality. Nowadays Hawaii extends civil unions to gay and lesbian couples, but the next step is marriage. "In Hawaii, there was a marriage bill that we all pushed in the state legislature this session," Esseks says. "It did not pass, but the legislature has set up a study commission to evaluate the successes or failures of civil unions. That report will come out sometime in the next year, and we — the ACLU and many other partners — are going to be pushing hard for a marriage law in that legislature." The study was commissioned by the legislature and is being conducted by the University of Hawaii, with the results due November 1.