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Hawaii Lawmakers Pass Civil Unions Bill

Hawaii Lawmakers Pass Civil Unions Bill

The Hawaii House of Representatives has approved same-sex civil unions, coming one step closer toward gay and lesbian rights. It was a surprise last minute vote as the Hawaii House of Representatives passed the civil unions bill Thursday with a 31-20 vote just as the legislative session was ending. House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro made a motion to reconsider it and revived the issue on the last day of this year's legislative session.

The Hawaii House of Representatives has approved same-sex civil unions, sending the measure to the governor.

In a big step towards victory, it was a surprise last minute vote as the Hawaii House of Representatives passed the civil unions bill Thursday with a 31-20 vote just as the legislative session was ending. The bill passed the Senate in January.

Spearheading the effort, House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro made a motion to reconsider it and revived the issue on the last day of this year's legislative session, according to the Washington Post.

"I'm extremely, extremely proud of this day, because Martin Luther King said it best ' The arc of history is long and once and a while you get to bend it correctly ' and Thursday we bent it in the right direction toward justice" said Oshiro.

Representative John Mizuno voted against HB 444.

"I was in opposition, but it was very historic. Blake Oshiro, the majority leader was a hero for this bill. I have a lot of respect for him and a lot of respect for the gay and lesbian community."

Republican Gov. Linda Lingle hasn't said whether she'll sign it, so the House declined to act earlier this year because of fears that the Democratic-controlled House wouldn't have enough votes to override Lingle. She has 45 days to make it law or veto it.

 

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