Maui News

Final Vote Expected on Same-Sex Marriage Bill

November 12, 2013, 8:20 AM HST
* Updated November 12, 9:20 AM
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Hearing on same sex marriage, 11/6/13. The vote was one of several as the same sex marriage bill made its journey through the special legislative session.  Photo courtesy State House of Representatives.

Hearing on same sex marriage, 11/6/13. The vote was one of several on the same sex marriage bill as it makes its journey through the special legislative session. Photo courtesy State House of Representatives.

By Wendy Osher

The Hawaiʻi Senate convenes at 10 a.m. today to consider the proposed House amendments to Senate Bill 1, Relating to Same Sex Marriage in the state.

If the bill is passed on final reading today, it would be sent to the governor. If the Senate disagrees, the bill would be sent back to conference committee to negotiate differences.

Today’s vote comes following consistent advancement of the measure in both chambers and 57 hours of testimony from thousands of individuals during committee review in the state House.

SB1 HD1 recognizes marriages between individuals of the same gender by extending to same-sex couples the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities that married couples of the opposite-sex are presently entitled to.

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The bill also expands a religious exemption, and changes the start date to December 2, 2013, instead of November 18, 2013 to allow time for department implementation.

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Since the beginning of the special session on October 28, the bill has passed a series of legislative approvals that included the following:

The Senate’s floor session will be broadcast live by Capitol TV and streamed online.

There is also limited public seating at the Capitol with street level entry doors opening at approximately 9:30 a.m. To ensure public safety, legislative officials say individuals entering the chambers will be subject to a bag check and metal detector screening.

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