Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie announced Monday that he plans to call a special session of the state legislature starting October 28 to consider legislation that would pave the way for marriage equality in the Aloha State, reports Metro Weekly.
Abercrombie said the move stems from his belief that the time has come to put the question of same-sex marriage to rest and is confident equality will soon come to Hawaii.
"This is now the 20th year of discussion that has taken place on the issue and associated issues with it," Abercrombie told reporters at a press conference. "I feel very, very strongly that the votes are there to pass this because it is time for marriage equity to take place."
The special session will last about five days, and the proposed bill will include a religious exemption to quell the fears of those who worry marriage equality will be forced upon any church, Abercrombie said. If the bill is approved, same-sex marriages could begin in the state as early as November 18.
"It is my conclusion, and I think the conclusion of everyone I've been consulting with, that virtually everything that can be said has been said," the governor said. "Virtually every angle, virtually every view, every variation on a view with regard to the issue of marriage and equitable treatment for those engaged in marriage has been aired, has been analyzed, has been discussed."