Hawaii Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill In 5-2 Vote

After nearly twelve hours of heated testimony, the Hawaii Senate Judiciary & Labor Committee approved its same-sex marriage bill this morning by a 5-2 vote.

UPI reports:

The full Senate is expected to vote on the bill Wednesday. If it passes, it will go to the House, where a joint hearing before the Judiciary and Finance committees is scheduled Thursday. The Senate legislation would recognize marriages between persons of the same gender and would extend to same-sex couples the rights, benefits, protections and responsibilities that opposite-sex couples now have.

Sen. Clayton Hee (D, Heeia-Laie-Waialua), the Senate committee’s chairman, said after the vote:

It’s historic in the sense that there’s a huge paradigm shift, but it’s a shift that, in my opinion, bends the arc of justice towards the right way. It takes us to a new level of equal rights.

He added:

This measure represents the committee’s best effort to balance the interests of supporters and opponents of this issue. The Senate’s bill preserves religious freedoms and ensures that the rights of all Americans are preserved as enshrined in the United States and Hawaii Constitutions.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie told Al Jazeera Monday that he expects Hawaii’s legislature will pass a bill legalizing gay marriage “within a week or so.”

Opponents of the marriage equality bill are desperately trying to spread lies by all means necessary. A paid radio ad by Hawaii Republican Assembly, claims gay marriage will normalize deviant sexual behavior: