Gay marriage headed for final approval in Hawaii

Hawaii State Sen. Clayton Hee (right) and Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria. (AP/Oskar Garcia)

Hawaii State Sen. Clayton Hee (right) and Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria.
(AP/Oskar Garcia)

Gay marriage is on its way to approval in the Hawaii next week and could become law soon, the head of that State’s Senate said Saturday.

Sen. Clayton Hee said he will recommend passage to Senate Democrats, who outnumber the body’s long Republican dissenter 24-1, after the body reconvenes Tuesday following the Monday Veterans Day holiday.

“There are very few opportunities to participate in government in decisions that define your career and this is one of those decisions that will define the careers of all of the members of the legislature.”

Hee said he expects the Senate to approve the measure passed by the Hawaii House late Friday night after two long and sometimes bitter floor sessions.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie is expected to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.

Both Hee and Abercrombie said they approved changes in the bill by the House and Hee said he expects the revised bill to pass the Senate 20-4 — the same margin on an earlier version of the bill approved by the Senate on Oct. 30.

If the bill is passed, Hawaii would join 14 other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing gay marriage.  Similar legislation in Illinois awaits the governor’s signature there.

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