After Rowdy House Sessions, Senate Seeks Quick Gay Marriage Vote

Anita Hofschneider/Civil Beat

Eager to avoid the loud and lengthy protests over same-sex marriage that disrupted the Hawaii House of Representatives this week, the state Senate may act swiftly on Senate Bill 1.

Senators are considering accepting the House's amended version of SB 1 that expands religious exemptions, removes language concerning parental rights and changes the effective date to Dec. 2.

The Senate could vote on the historic legislation as early as Tuesday. That would avoid conference committee deliberations between House and Senate members and immediately send the bill to the desk of Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who has championed the legislation.

The governor's signature on SB 1 would make Hawaii the 16th state, along with the District of Columbia, to legally recognize gay marriage.

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