State Senators have approved a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Hawaii.
On Wednesday, the Senate approved the bill in 20-4 vote.
The auditorium at the State Capitol was packed with people who were there to witness the historic vote.
The bill would recognize same-sex marriages, giving gay couples the same rights, benefits, and protections as opposite-sex couples, who are married.
Sen. Clayton Hee serves as chair of the Judiciary and Labor committee, which held a hearing on the bill on Monday and passed it with a 5-2 vote.
"I ask you to expand the meaning of Aloha, to truly include everyone regardless of his or her race, his or her color, his or her creed, or his or her sexual orientation," Sen. Hee said.
"Despite what has been said over and over again, there are no religious protections in this bill as written now. And the proof of that is no religious person who had opposed the original legislation and came forward and said 'You guys really did a good job. You guys worked hard,'" said Sen. Sam Slom (R) Hawaii Kai, Aina Haina.
Those who voted against the bill were Sen. Slom, along with Democratic Senators Mike Gabbard, Ron Kouchi, and Senate President Donna Mercado Kim.
The bill will head to the House, where its prospects are less certain.
The House Judiciary and Finance Committees will take testimony from 10 a.m. until midnight on Thursday, Oct. 31 at the public hearing.
Passed Third Reading:
- Ayes, 20
- Aye(s) with reservations: None
- Noes, 4 (Senator(s) Gabbard, Kim, Kouchi, Slom)
- Excused 1 (Wakai)
Full list of ayes:
- BAKER, Rosalyn H. (D)
- CHUN OAKLAND, Suzanne (D)
- DELA CRUZ, Donovan M. (D)
- ENGLISH, J. Kalani (D)
- ESPERO, Will (D)
- GALUTERIA, Brickwood (D)
- GREEN, M.D., Josh (D)
- HEE, Clayton (D)
- IGE, David Y. (D)
- IHARA, Jr., Les (D)
- KAHELE, Gilbert (D)
- KEITH-AGARAN, Gilbert S.C. (D)
- KIDANI, Michelle N. (D)
- NISHIHARA, Clarence K. (D)
- RUDERMAN, Russell E. (D)
- SHIMABUKURO, Maile S.L. (D)
- SOLOMON, Malama (D)
- TANIGUCHI, Brian T. (D)
- THIELEN, Laura H. (D)
- TOKUDA, Jill N. (D)
It may take you a little longer to get around this weekend. There will be lane and road closures all over Oahu because of parades and the Honolulu Marathon.
The city has received more reports of stray bullets from the Koko Head rifle range. So the city is closing the range while it figures out how to make it safer.
A $65,000 piece of equipment ripped off from the city is making officials think twice about where to store its property.