Hawaii State Senate Committee Deadlocks on Civil Unions Bill
February 25, 2009
Joe Solmonese issued a statement today regarding a vote in Hawaii’s state Senate Judiciary and Government Operations Committee early this morning on a pending civil unions bill. The legislation would provide gay and lesbian couples the same rights provided to married couples under state law. The House of Representatives already voted 33-17 to pass the civil unions bill; however the Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocked at 3-3 on the legislation yesterday. After 20 days have passed, the bill may still advance to the Senate floor for a vote if one-third of the Senate, or nine of its 25 members, agree to recall the bill from committee. The senate president would seek to recall the bill, and then there would be a vote—20 days from now, if this happens. Here's Joe's statement:
Today’s vote means that the question now is whether nine of 25 state Senators agree that this important legislation, which would simply grant basic rights and protections to all committed couples and families in Hawaii, should go to a floor vote before the whole Senate. We hope that they do agree to recall the bill from committee and that it passes the Senate and is enacted into law.
In 1998, Hawaii became the first state in the U.S. to pass a state constitutional amendment to prevent gay or lesbian couples from marrying. However, current state law permits couples prohibited from marrying in the state to enter into reciprocal beneficiary relationships and receive limited rights and benefits. To learn more about state by state legislation visit: www.hrc.org/state_laws.
May 18, 2013