Hawaii’s Senate passed a historic marriage equality bill with overwhelming support in a 20-4 vote on Wednesday. The vote came after several hours of debate in a special legislative session called by Governor Neil Abercrombie. Monday.
The bill will now move on to the House for debate. If any amendments are made to the bill in the House, it would have to come back to the Senate for review before moving to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his signature.
The Star Advertiser reports:
House Majority Leader Scott Saiki says it’s likely the chamber will amend the bill to change religious exemptions. The Senate bill currently exempts ministers and other clergy from having to perform gay wedding ceremonies, but not for-profit businesses.
“The House committees recognize that there is still a lot of public concern about the scope of the exemptions,” Saiki said.
The Halloween joint hearing between the House judiciary and finance committees is expected to last until midnight, then carry over to Friday if there are still people wanting to testify.
Sen. Clayton Hee, shared a story about the island of Niihau, home to 130 people, who are mostly Native Hawaiians, and their maluhia of the island, a Hawaiian word that translates to peace.