By Wendy Osher
A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Hawaiʻi passed its first hurdle today, advancing out of committee in its unamended form. It is now headed to the full Senate for a vote.
By a vote of five to two, the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor advanced Senate Bill (SB) 1, Relating to Equal Rights.
Under the bill, marriages between individuals of the same gender would be recognized in the state, and same-sex couples would be extended the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities that married couples of the opposite-sex couples are presently entitled to.
“This measure represents the Committee’s best effort to balance the interests of supporters and opponents of this issue,” said Senator Clayton Hee, Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor in a press release statement following the vote.
“The Senate’s bill preserves religious freedoms and ensures that the rights of all Americans are preserved as enshrined in the United States and Hawaiʻi Constitutions,” he said.
Updates from the special session and the progress of other bills introduced are available at the following link.
The House Judiciary and Finance committees have scheduled hearing on the measure at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31.
Due to the anticipated high volume of testifiers, the Judiciary and Finance Committees will assign registration numbers to people who submit testimony and wish to testify in-person.
According to information released by the House, those who submit testimony online and wish to testify at the hearing will receive an email with their registration number; and those who submit their testimony in person will be assigned a number at that time.
“The numbering system is being implemented to more efficiently assist the flow of people and their testimony during the hearing. It will also allow testifiers to know where they are on the testimony list and plan their presence accordingly,” the announcement said.
For more information on how to submit testimony for the upcoming hearing, details are provided at the following link.