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Archive for Friday, April 30, 2010

Hawaii lawmakers OK civil unions

April 30, 2010

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— A bill allowing same-sex civil unions that prompted some of Hawaii’s biggest rallies is headed to the governor after the state House of Representatives gave it final legislative approval Thursday.

The House voted 31-20 in favor of the measure, which passed the Senate in January.

Republican Gov. Linda Lingle has not said whether she will make civil unions law or veto the bill.

The measure grants gay and lesbian couples the same rights and benefits that the state provides to married couples. If it’s signed into law, Hawaii will become one of six states — the others are California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington — to grant essentially all the rights of marriage to same-sex couples without authorizing marriage itself.

Five other states and the District of Columbia permit same-sex marriage: Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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