Hawaii same-sex civil union bill dies

BY admin

February 24 2004 12:00 AM ET

In Hawaii a bill that would allow same-sex civil unions has died in a state house committee. The bill failed to move out of the house judiciary committee on Friday. Proponents were told that the committee had no quorum to vote following a lengthy public hearing Thursday night and no time to take a vote by Friday's deadline, according to Ken Miller, executive director of the Center, a nonprofit gay rights group.

However, a companion bill that would ban housing discrimination based on sexual orientation survives.
House judiciary committee vice chairman Blake Oshiro said a vote on the bill by a March 5 deadline is possible. But he said he doesn't know if it has committee support. Opponents of the civil unions bill see it as a substitute or precursor to gay marriage. Hawaii voters in 1998 overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman.

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