Shortly after midnight on Monday, same-sex marriage became legal in the great state of Hawaii, which means there is no longer any reason for gay couples to get married anywhere else.
Ok, maybe that's a slight exaggeration there since there are wonderful things that other same-sex-marriage friendly states like New York, California, Connecticut, Vermont, and New Jersey can offer. But, come on. "I got married at Asbury Park, New Jersey," doesn't inspire the same kind of jealousy for any couple as: "I got married in Hawaii" or "I'm getting married in Hawaii."
Now that jealousy is equal-opportunity. And while a linen-pant riddled beach wedding can border on cheesy, the Honolulu forecast this weekend is around 80 degrees and sunny skies. States on the East Coast won't see that until May. The majority of East Coasters would trade their formal tuxedos and gowns for that.
Six couples took advantage of the new law early Monday by registering online and Hawaii's health department is opening its doors at 8 a.m. today for same-sex couples who want to get their licenses in person. "We started this battle 23 years ago and we get to finish it tonight," Michael Golojuch Jr., chairman of Honolulu Pride, told the AP.
There's a payoff for businesses too. Gay marriage, as it has elsewhere, means more dollars into the Hawaiian economy. "An estimate from a University of Hawaii researcher says Hawaii will get a $217 million tourism boost over the next three years as a result of gay marriage," the AP adds.