Hawaii Senate passes civil union bill

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The Hawaii Senate passed SB 232, a civil unions bill, by a 19-6 vote.

The bill, which is identical to last session’s HB 444 that was vetoed by Gov. Linda Lingle, provides that the equal rights and responsibilities of married couples in Hawaii be available to thousands of same-sex couples in the state.

The legislation now moves to Hawaii’s House of Representatives, where action is expected to proceed next week.

The Equality Hawaii Board of Directors stated to be on the lookout for a “mahalo” campaign to the Senators who supported the bill as well as ways to voice support of civil unions to members of the House.