Slatest PM: Hawaii to Legalize Gay Marriage

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 12 2013 5:34 PM

Slatest PM: Hawaii Set to Legalize Marriage Equality

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Miss America 2014 contestant Miss Hawaii Crystal Lee appears in the 2014 Miss America Competition Parade at Boardwalk Hall Arena on September 14, 2013 in Atlantic City, New Jersey

File photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Aloha!: Washington Post: "Hawaii will likely become the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage as state senators prepare to send legislation to Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s (D) desk later Tuesday. After a same-sex marriage bill hit legislative roadblocks earlier this year, and after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the federal Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, Abercrombie called the legislature back into special session to pass a compromise measure. The new version of the bill includes protections for religious officials who object to same-sex marriage. ... The compromise bill would allow same-sex couples to get marriage licenses as early as Dec. 2. ... Hawaii will give same-sex marriage proponents its second big win in two weeks. Illinois lawmakers passed a same-sex marriage bill on Nov. 5, and Gov. Pat Quinn (D) said in a statement he would sign it at a public ceremony on Nov. 20."

The Backstory: Reuters: "Hawaii's Supreme Court ruled two decades ago that barring same-sex marriage was discriminatory. That landmark opinion propelled the gay rights movement nationwide but also sparked a backlash that has kept marriage limited to heterosexual couples in the Aloha state. ... The debate has long divided Hawaii. In 1993, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled it was discriminatory to deny marriage rights to same-sex couples. But the legislature voted the following year to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples, passing a law at odds with the courts. And in 1998, Hawaii voters took the courts out of the equation by approving a constitutional amendment giving the legislature power to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples."

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Is New Mexico Next? Time: "This Southwest state is the only one in the nation without a law that explicitly allows or bans same-sex marriage. That may soon change. The New Mexico supreme court heard oral arguments on the topic Oct. 23 and is expected to issue a ruling soon, likely before the end of the year. Currently, eight New Mexico counties allow gay couples to marry. ... Two New Mexico judges have upheld same-sex marriage under provisions of the state constitution, giving supporters reason for optimism. But if the state’s high court does rule in favor, the fight may not be over. Some state Republicans are creating a plan to strike back by pursing a statewide constitutional referendum to ban the unions."

It's Tuesday, November 12th, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees and the whole team at @slatest.

Fingers Crossed in the Philippines: CNN: "A well-publicized estimate that Typhoon Haiyan killed 10,000 people in the Philippines is 'too much,' and the death toll likely is closer to 2,000 or 2,500, President Benigno Aquino III told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday. ... By Tuesday, Philippines officials said 1,774 bodies had been counted and 2,487 people were injured. The previous estimate of 10,000 killed, Aquino said, came from local officials who perhaps were 'too close' to the center of destruction to make an accurate guess." We're still days, if not weeks or months, from having the final count.

Please Try Again: USA Today: "The government began sending 275,000 e-mail messages Tuesday to people who have not been able to enroll in the federal exchange system. The e-mails invite people to come back to the site to reattempt enrollment, said Julie Bataille, spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Those who received the messages had become 'stuck' in the enrollment process, Bataille said. As many potential customers tried to log in to the site, which opened Oct. 1, they received error messages, or as they tried to create security questions, they were sent back to begin the process again. ... The administration will release enrollment numbers this week, Bataille said, although she did not specify a date or time."

New Cholesterol Guidelines: Associated Press: "The nation's first new guidelines in a decade for preventing heart attacks and strokes call for twice as many Americans — one-third of all adults — to consider taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. The guidelines, issued Tuesday by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, are a big change. They use a new formula for estimating someone's risk that includes many factors besides cholesterol, the main focus now. They take aim at strokes, not just heart attacks. And they set a lower threshold for using medicines to reduce risk. The definition of high cholesterol isn't changing, but the treatment goal is."

Michelle's New Focus: NBC News: "First Lady Michelle Obama is advocating for a new goal: getting more kids to pursue higher education. During remarks Tuesday at the Bell Multicultural High School in Washington, D.C..  Mrs. Obama decried America’s decline in worldwide college graduation rates and told students that she had to overcome 'negativity' to achieve her own educational goals. ... This foray takes on weightier policy than her first-term projects like child obesity, and it dovetails with President Obama's 'North Star' goal of propelling the United States to #1 worldwide in college graduates by 2020."

American-US Air Merger: New York Times: "The Justice Department has reached a preliminary agreement to settle its fight with American Airlines and US Airways over their proposed merger, according to a court document filed on Tuesday. Under the proposal, American and US Airways would sell 104 takeoff and landing slots at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, 34 slots at La Guardia Airport in New York, and various assets at five other airports, including O’Hare Airport in Chicago, Los Angeles International Airport and Boston Logan International Airport. The settlement still needs to be approved by the Federal District Court in the District of Columbia as well as a judge overseeing American Airlines’ bankruptcy proceeding. The airlines are confident they can now close their merger deal by mid-December."

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