Hawaii won't vote on same-sex civil unions bill

In this Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009 file photo, Hawaii Board of Education member Kim Coco Iwamoto testifies in favor of same-sex civil unions in front of the Senate Judiciary and Government Operation Committee in the State Capitol Auditorium in Honolulu. When Hawaii legislators reconvene on Wednesday, all eyes will be focused not on teacher furloughs that has resulted in the nation's shortest school year or the state's $1 billion budget deficit, but legislation that would allow same-sex couples to form civil unions.

The Associated Press
Published: Friday, January 29, 2010 at 6:07 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 29, 2010 at 6:07 p.m.

HONOLULU — Lawmakers in Hawaii have decided not to vote on a bill that would have allowed same-sex civil unions in the state, a move that effectively kills the measure.

The state's House of Representatives indefinitely postponed a vote on the bill to grant gay couples the same rights and benefits the state provides to married couples.

Civil union supporters in the House gallery on Friday shouted, "Shame on you!" while opponents cheered.

The state Senate had approved a civil unions bill last week. But House leadership wavered on pushing the controversial issue during an election year.

Last year, 33 of 51 House members voted in favor of civil unions.

Republican Gov. Linda Lingle had refused to say whether she would veto a civil unions bill or let it become law, if lawmakers had approved it.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top