After more than 55 hours of debate spread over five full days in which 5,182 Hawaiians sighed up to speak before the House Judiciary and Finance Committees, the last citizen was heard and committee members finally voted to advance the bill to the full House in an 18-12 vote. At least two amendments were made to the bill:
During the decision making process, the House committee amended the bill to broaden a religious exemption that allows “for profit” religious leaders to refuse service for same-sex marriage ceremonies and moved the effective date from Nov. 18 to Dec. 2.
Hawaii News Now adds details on a third amendment:
It also eliminates a provision regarding to parental rights that has been questioned because it would give Native Hawaiian status to children of same-sex couples with a non-biological Native Hawaiian parent that could provide them with undue benefits or privilege.
The bill completed its second reading tonight on the House floor. It will likely come up for a final vote on Thursday. If it survives that vote, it will then have to go back to the Senate for a concurrence vote before being sent to Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
Update: It looks like the bill’s second reading will actually occur tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. HST (noon PST, 3:00 p.m EST). It would put the final vote on Friday, since lawmakers are entitled to 48 hours’ notice due to the amendments.