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Civil Union Talks Resume in Hawaii

Civil Union Talks Resume in Hawaii

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Under the leadership of a new governor who supports gays and lesbians, Hawaiian lawmakers are looking to resubmit a bill to legalize civil unions after the legislature reconvenes in Honolulu next week.

Rep. Blake Oshiro (pictured), who is gay, told KITV that he wants to push the bill through early in the legislative term so that lawmakers can focus more time on "the economy, protecting jobs, finding a way to make sure that we cover the budget deficit. And so we would prefer that this not continue on through session."

There is also a possibility that new governor Neil Abercrombie will reintroduce the civil unions bill as part of a bigger legislative package.

Former governor Linda Lingle vetoed a civil unions bill last summer, after the proposed law survived a tumultuous journey in the legislature.

Oshiro said that because the federal government does not recognize same-sex relationships and because Hawaii's state taxes are based on federal tax laws, changes would need to occur to accommodate Hawaiian gay and lesbian couples who enter into civil unions.

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