Block on Trump's Asylum Ban Upheld by Supreme Court
The state has seen significant protests in response to potential legalization of same sex civil unions. The Hawaii House of Representatives voted 31-20 in favor of the legislation, which came as a bit of a surprise, as the bill had stalled and appeared it would not clear the House. It was unexpectedly revived on the last day of this year's legislative session after all other items on the agenda had been covered. The Hawaii Senate passed the bill in January.
As MSNBC reported, in 1993 a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling nearly made Hawaii the first state to legally allow same sex marriage before voters in the state overwhelmingly approved the nation's first "defense of marriage" constitutional amendment in 1998.
Hawaiians have expressed themselves on both sides of the issue.
"Civil unions are a step down the very slippery slope toward legalizing same sex marriage," said Rachel Nakasaki, a Christian who believes traditional marriage between a man and a woman should be preserved.
"Hawaii is the Aloha State, and this vote shows that the greater community has love and acceptance for everyone," said supporter Van Law.
"Equality feels really good," said Suzanne King, who said Hawaii would recognize her Massachusetts marriage to her partner as a civil union if the bill becomes law. "It allows us to strengthen our family."