It's official--Hawaii is the 15th state to legalize marriage equality, beating out Illinois for the spot by just one week.
Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed the measure into law Wednesday morning, one day after the state Senate gave its final seal approval by a 19-4 vote. Gay couples can begin marrying in the Aloha State on Dec. 2.
"Those who have been invisible will now be visible to themselves and the whole world," said Abercrombie during the invitation-only signing ceremony at the Hawaii Convention Center near Waikiki. The governor had called both houses of the legislature to convene for a special session to specifically consider the marriage equality legislation.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will be the next state executive to sign marriage equality into law. He's set to sign the legislation on Nov. 20.
The long-awaited revelry in Hawaii may be cut short, however, by a hearing scheduled for Thursday that could postpone the effective date. GOP state Rep. Bob McDermott is seeking to block gay couples from receiving marriage licenses next month, as scheduled. He has filed a lawsuit contending that the Hawaii legislature does not have the constitutional authority to change the definition of marriage.