January 29, 2011 at 12:24 pm EDT | by Staff reports
Hawaii Senate approves civil unions

The Hawaii Senate has passed a bill creating civil unions for same-sex couples, rushing it on a path toward becoming law.

The Senate voted 19-6 for the bill Friday, according to media reports from many outlets, sending it to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

Hawaii would become the sixth state to grant some of the rights of marriage to same-sex couples without authorizing marriage itself. A civil unions bill also passed the Illinois Legislature last month.

Democrats, who control the Hawaii Legislature, have said they plan to approve the bill quickly this year and send it to new Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his signature. Abercrombie has said he supports civil unions.

A similar bill was vetoed last year by then-Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican.

  • It would be nice to know which bill passed. The one with the nasty language about protecting the sanctity of marriage which is a flat out statement that gays are second class citizens or did the pass the one without that language?

  • What a difference under Dem control versus GOP control of the governorship and legislature! A decade ago this would not have seemed possible given the knee jerk reaction against the courts declaring gay marriage a constitutional right leading to a change in their state constitution. It just goes to prove we can NEVER give up and can overcome! Be patient, a majority within another generation will likely favor gay marriage. That’s why christian conservatives are fighitng so hard for constitutional amendments, they know it too!

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