Twenty years after the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay couples seeking marriage licenses, a decision subsequently overturned by voters, Hawaii is on the cusp of becoming the 14th marriage equality state. Gov. Neil Abercrombie has called a special session of the Hawaii legislature to consider marriage equality legislation to begin October 28th. Marriage Equality USA’s National Equality Action Team (NEAT) will be mobilizing out-of-state marriage equality volunteers from the Western states as well as night owls from other states to staff phone banks to call likely supporters in Hawaii during a national “night of action” on Thursday, October 24th starting at 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET. Volunteers can sign up to participate in the October 24th night of action or other NEAT actions at the NEAT website. The NEAT coalition was initially formed in the Spring of 2013 to follow up on the extraordinary success of MEUSA's work with 20 organizations that helped bring about the historic ballot victories in the Fall 2012 in winning marriage in Maryland, Washington, and Maine, and helped defeat an anti-gay marriage amendment in Minnesota. NEAT is now about 50 organizations strong and provides support for all active state marriage campaigns (legislative or ballot initiatives). NEAT callers reach out to voters in districts whose state legislators have not yet confirmed support for marriage equality bills. After determining that a voter does indeed support marriage equality, the phone bank caller can immediately connect them to their respective legislator’s voice-mail where they can identify themselves as a constituent and urge the legislator to support marriage equality bills. MEUSA Executive Director Brian Silva says, “Since 1991, Hawaii has been at the forefront of the fight for equal rights for LGBT families. Today, MEUSA takes another important step as an early member of the 'Hawaii United for Marriage' coalition by organizing supporters across the country to take action in support of our friends and family in the Aloha State." To volunteer at an in-person phone bank, location of your choosing, or from the comfort of your own home, simply sign up at the NEAT website. Phone banking from your own home is at no additional cost to you; the phone calls are made via your computer and existing Internet connection rather than via your land-line, long-distance, or mobile telephone service.
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