Civil unions have passed in Hawaii’s legislature, needs signature of Governor

Back to where the marriage debate began. In 1993, the Hawaii Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling that paved the way for same-sex marriage until November of 1998 when voters changed the state’s constitution to bar it.

But, this week, there was legislative progress in Hawaii on partnership recognition:

By a vote of 31-20, the Hawaii House today approved a civil unions bill just hours before the end of this year’s legislative session.

The measure would give unmarried same-sex and heterosexual couples the same rights as married couples under state law. The bill passed the Senate in January by a vote of 18-7 and now goes to the governor for her consideration.

Gov. Linda Lingle had urged lawmakers against taking up civil unions this session and to instead focus on the state’s budget deficit. She has not said whether she would sign or veto the bill.

Lingle has 45 days to decide. If she vetoes the bill, the House and Senate can come back in a one-day override session in July.

The Governor is a Republican. She’s also term-limited and not running again.

In 2010, civil unions are considered a very moderate proposal. So, come on Governor Lingle, be a human.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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