Friday, 30 April 2010

Hawaii Surprise: Civil Unions Approved.

Who saw this coming? The path to gay marriage began in Hawaii way back in 1993, with a state Supreme Court decision. Five years later, a popular vote placed a ban on same sex unions. Since then, the supporters of marriage equality have launched repeated attempts to get civil unions approved, but have struggled even to bring it to a vote. A determined push last year fizzled out, and this year looked to be headed the same way - until this week, when a last minute decision on the final day of the session brought success.

Cross fingers now, that the Republican governor does not veto it.

From the Honolulu Advertiser:

Historic civil-unions bill gets House OK

State House lawmakers yesterday approved a bill that would give same-sex and heterosexual couples the ability to enter into civil unions and enjoy the same rights as married couples under state law. The 31-20 vote followed an improbable decision by state House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro, the bill's sponsor, to revive civil unions on the last day of the 60-day session. The House, focusing primarily on the state's budget deficit and concerned about the influence of civil unions on election year politics, had indefinitely postponed action on the bill after it passed the state Senate in January.
Earlier this week, Oshiro said he would not bring back the bill but indicated that others might. He said he decided on Wednesday evening, when it became clear that another lawmaker would try to force a vote, that he should be the one to make the motion.

The bill now goes to Gov. Linda Lingle,  a Republican, who has not said whether she would sign, veto or allow the bill to become law without her signature.

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