Hawaii Senate passes bill to legalize gay marriage

Posted on 31 Oct 2013 at 5:39am

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HONOLULU — The legalization of same-sex marriage in Hawaii moved forward after the State Senate on Wednesday approved legislation to repeal a voter-approved constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, The New York Times reported.

The bill passed easily, 20-4, with three Democrats voting with the Senate’s only Republican to oppose the measure. If the State House approves the bill, Hawaii would become the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the House 44-7. A House committee is expected to hold a hearing on the measure Thursday.

House Majority Leader Scott Saiki has said it’s likely the chamber will amend the bill to change religious exemptions. The Senate bill exempts ministers and other clergy members — but not commercial businesses — from having to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.

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