HONOLULU – Step off your aeroplane after the 2,500-mile flight from Los Angeles into this sunny, sparkling cluster of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and you are greeted by a vibrant past that shines through into a beautiful present. Smiling, brown-skinned women adorn you with garlands of local flora known as “leis.” Your chests and valises, as if by magic, are presented to you on a conveyor belt with ease. From there, you are whisked to your private beach villa or luxury suite, and the comforts and pleasures of hundreds of years of tribal civilization only continue.
But it’s the future that has travelers to the island state of Hawaii (pronounced “ha-WAH-ee”) so intrigued. This week the local leader, known as Governor Neil Abercrombie, approved a change to area customs and laws that would, strange as it may sound, make the weddings and marital unions of two men or two women just as legitimate and proper as those between a husband and wife! Two men, or two women!
“I’ve been visiting the archipelago of Hawaii for decades and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Dr. Antonia Burrot, an anthropologist from the University of Chicago. “Well, I have, but not legally recognized. Some beaches around here – you just try and stop gay people from getting married on them.”
Visitors to the tropical market center of “Honolulu” expressed mild confusion followed by amusement and delight at what many called “such a charming idea.” Cafes full of sunburned Caucasians laughed and politely clapped when the regional news crier, MSNBC, announced the change.
“Oh, how droll!” exclaimed tourist Marjorie Fitzsimmons, 52. “Richard, we simply must come back next month. I’d so love to see one of their gay little ceremonies, and those will begin on Dec. 2. It’s all so very outré!”
Opinions differ on whether or not the ceremonial binding of single-gender couples will see Hawaii ascend to a tolerant-if-expensive tropical paradise, or if the island chain will devolve into an expensive-if-tolerant tropical paradise, but it appears, at least, that travelers and passers-through should emerge unscathed.
“If these natives want to dance around and live happily ever after, that’s fine by me, it’s no skin off my nose,” said tourist Richard Fitzsimmons, 58, as he burped discreetly into his Mai Tai. “If a gay wedding with grass skirts and tiki torches actually diminished what I feel for my beloved Marjorie, then my marriage wouldn’t really be worth much, would it?”
Fitzsimmons added: “How about some more of that delicious tuna tartare?”
Hawaii follows 14 other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing gay marriages. The average cost of a wedding cake in Hawaii is $3,250.