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Gay weddings become reality in Hawaii with new law

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii has issued 40 licenses for same-sex marriages in the first hours since the state began allowing the unions.

State Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo said Monday 39 licenses were for couples on Oahu. One was for a couple on Maui.

The state began accepting applications for licenses on its website at midnight.

The state has up to two days to issue a marriage certificate once a marriage is performed if a couple obtains their license online.

Okubo says the department has certified one of the same-sex marriages already.

Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie last month signed legislation allowing gay marriage. Lawmakers passed the measure after a special legislative session.

A University of Hawaii researcher says gay marriage will boost tourism by $217 million over the next three years.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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