Hawaii House Passes Marriage Bill, Back to Senate
HONOLULU - The Hawaii House of Representatives passed a special session bill on Friday night legalizing gay marriage, setting up a final approval by the state Senate before it's sent to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his signature.
House lawmakers approved the bill after a grueling 12-hour session with breaks, capping more than a week of public testimony and debate that drew passionate crowds both for and against gay marriage.
The measure to allow same-sex couples to wed starting Dec. 2 passed 30-19 with two lawmakers excused. But the drama that unfolded in the hours leading up to the vote included 16 floor amendments being shot down, a gay lawmaker voting against the bill and another lawmaker citing rapper Macklemore in his comments.
The bill needs renewed approval from the Senate because of changes made by two House committees. The Senate passed an earlier version last week.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie has previously urged both chambers to pass the bill as currently written.
The Senate is expected to consider the bill Tuesday.