Hawaii has joined Illinois as a state whose legal approval of gay marriage now needs only the governor’s signature.
The Hawaii Senate passed a bill legalizing gay marriage Tuesday at a special session called by governor Neil Abercrombie, who stated he would sign the bill. Abercrombie called for the special session when he found out that same-sex couples were eligible for federal benefits.
The bill would take effect December 2, and a University of Hawaii researcher said tourism will skyrocket $217 million over the next three years because of the new law. It passed by a vote of 19-4 with two senators absent.
Hawaii was the state where two lesbians applied for a marriage license in 1990, which ignited a court fight and eventually triggered the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which was partially struck down in 2013 by the U.S. Supreme Court.
14 states and the District of Columbia have legal same-sex marriage to date.