Proposal would extend married couples' rights to same-sex partners
From the Honolulu Advertiser...
By Derrick DePledgeAdvertiser Government Writer
The state House yesterday passed a bill to legalize civil unions among same-sex partners, a vote several lawmakers believe will help end discrimination against gays and lesbians in Hawai'i.
The bill, which now moves to the state Senate, would grant partners in civil unions the same benefits, protections and responsibilities as married couples under state law. The state would also recognize civil unions, domestic partnerships and same-sex marriages performed in other states.
Partners in civil unions would not have the same protections as married couples under federal law, so the recognition is a rung below treating homosexual and heterosexual couples equally.
The House vote was 33-17 with one lawmaker excused, one vote shy of a veto-proof supermajority. The lawmaker who missed the vote, state Rep. K. Mark Takai, D-34th (Newtown, Waiau, Pearl City), who is preparing to deploy with the Hawai'i Army National Guard to Kuwait, supports civil unions.
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