Hawaii House Passes Civil Unions Bill

Jim Burroway

February 13th, 2009

A bill to provide for civil unions in Hawaii has passed the state House yesterday. The House vote was 33-17, just one vote shy of a veto-proof outcome.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where the Senate Judiciary and Government Operations Committee is divided 3-2 in favor of civil unions, but one member, Sen. Robert Bunda (D-North Shore, Wahiawa), is undecided. If it makes it out of committee, Senate President Colleen Hanabusa believes there are enough votes for it to pass. Hanabusa said she would consider forcing the bill out if it fails in committee. Doing so only requires a one-third vote of the Senate.

The bill would grant partners in civil unions the same benefits, protections and responsibilities as married couples under state law. The state would also recognize civil unions, domestic partnerships and same-sex marriages performed in other states.

MaskedBandit

February 13th, 2009

For all the folks who live in the Hawaiian Islands, we’re all rooting for you out here!

Alex

February 13th, 2009

This is fantastic news!!

I’m willing to bet that this story won’t cause even a fraction of the controversy that the situation in California did, simply because this bill is for civil unions, not same-sex marriage. We need to wake up and accept that conservative Christians are never going to give up the word “marriage.” The harder we try to define it as anything but one man and one woman, the more resistance we’ll run into.

Jayelle

February 13th, 2009

No, Alex, they hate civil unions, too. I remember quite vividly how they acted about Vermont.

But a step is a step, so good luck, Hawaii!!!!

Alex

February 13th, 2009

Oh I’m not suggesting that conservative Christians are rejoicing about civil unions – far from it. I’m just saying that they’re extremely sensitive about the word “marriage,” so we should set realistic goals.

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