The Hawaii Senate has convened since at 10 a.m. this morning local (2 p.m. Central Time) for final consideration of a marriage equality bill that would grant same-sex partners the right to wed. Gov. Neil Abercrombie has said he will sign it into law, after which marriages can begin on Dec. 2.
Last week, the bill passed the House on a vote of 30–19 after the addition of some religious exemptions that were not in the original bill.
Republican state Rep. Bob McDermott said he would file a temporary restraining order against the marriage equality bill if it passed the Senate today. A state judge agreed to hear the case, according to the Washington Post.
The claim is based on a 1998 constitutional amendment that allows the legislature to define marriage. Constitutional amendments in other states have outlawed same-sex marriage; the Hawaii amendment did not do that.
While the bill passed the House easily, one of its opponents was Jo Jordan, a lesbian. She is the first openly gay legislator in the U.S. to vote against marriage equality.
She said she was unhappy with the religious exemption. However, had she been interested in passing marriage equality, she would have been involved with writing the bill in the first place and not just voiced her objection after the bill passed.