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Gay couples tie the knot in Hawaii

  • Several same-sex couples hold a group wedding ceremony at the Sheraton Waikiki, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 in Honolulu. Hawaii became the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage Monday, and couples were able to apply for marriage licenses after midnight. After receiving their marriage license, several couples held a group wedding at the hotel. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

HONOLULU — 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, who called last month's special legislative session that produced the change.

Saralyn Morales was among the six couples who tied the knot at the resort shortly after midnight, when the new law took effect.

"It's about making that commitment to the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with," she said shortly after cutting a small wedding cake with her spouse, Isajah Morales.

Hawaii helped start the national gay marriage discussion more than two decades ago when a same-sex couple was denied a marriage license, leading to a court fight that eventually helped prompt Congress to pass the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. Part of that law, which stipulated that marriage was between a man and woman, was struck down earlier this year by the U.S. Supreme Court.


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