Hawaii may soon be the next state to adopt civil unions.
A group of bills have been introduced in the overwhelmingly Democratic Hawaii legislature that would give same-sex couples the legal rights of marriage. Civil unions face easier prospects in Hawaii, as an amendment tacked on to the state’s constitution in 1998 gives the legislature the power to define marriage as between a man and a woman if it so chooses. According to the AP, “both House and Senate Democrats are supporting the bills.”
The bills have split the opinions of those who opposed same-sex marriage in the past:
“Debi Hartmann, the former director of a group that formed to stop same-sex marriage in Hawai‘i, Hawaii Future Today, said civil unions is the answer. Hartmann said she believes there needs to be a legal relationship for gays and lesbians. ‘Where my position has not changed is in the defense of marriage as the union between a man and woman,’ Hartmann said. ‘One of the things this civil-union bill does not impact is the current marriage language.’ But Kelly Rosati, executive director of Hawaii Family Forum, said the bills simply create ‘marriage by another name.'”
Bills would give state recognition to gay unions [kauai world]
Hawaii Lawmakers Consider Civil Unions For Gay Couples [the hawaii channel]