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Hawaii is where it all started: the modern battle over same-sex marriage, that is. The strong likelihood that Hawaii would legalize same-sex marriage in the early 1990's spurred a nationwide backlash that would stall, but ultimately not prevent, the legalization of same-sex marriage elsewhere. Way back when, Hawaii did not legalize same-sex marriage. But twenty years later, it has done so, with a bill signed into law by Governor Neil Abercrombie this week. The circle is now complete.

In this column, I’ll describe Hawaii’s role at the beginning of the modern same-sex marriage controversy, its dramatic impact on state and federal law regarding same-sex marriage, and the state’s circular path to get back where it started.