Aloha State Passes Same-Sex Civil Union Bill, But Needs Signature of GOP Gov.
April 30, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-In an unexpected move on the last day of Hawaii’s legislative session, the House passed a civil unions bill, granting both same-sex and heterosexual couples the opportunity to enter into unions, with the same rights accorded to married couples. Gay rights activists cheered and cried after the historic vote, while sporting rainbow hued leis. And opponents warned the bill would violate the sanctity of traditional marriage. But for now, all eyes are on Republican Governor Linda Lingle, who has until July 6 to make a decision on the bill. She can sign it into law, veto it, or do nothing and allow it to automatically become the law of the land in Hawaii.
If the bill becomes law, Hawaii would join a handful of states permitting same-sex civil unions: California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington.
Another small group of states allow same-sex marriage: Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut, as well as the District of Columbia.
The same bill passed the Hawaii senate in January, but became stalled in the House, amid vocal opposition and lawmakers more concerned with the state’s economic woes.
Photo Credit: NORMAN SHAPIRO/The Honolulu Advertiser