Hawaii legislature okays civil unions

same-sex marriage imageThe Hawaii legislature approved a civil-unions bill and sent it to Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, who has 45 days to either sign it or send it back to lawmakers for a possible override vote.  Law Professor Linda McClain, an authority on family law and policy, says it’s significant this bill emerged through the democratic process in that the federal Defense of Marriage Act arose out of a supposed fear that Hawaii’s supreme court would approve same-sex marriage back in 1993.

“The passage of this bill is very significant because Hawaii was the first state that seemed poised to allow same-sex marriage, before the people of Hawaii approved a constitutional amendment reserving to itself the power to define marriage.  It would be a notable postscript on this history if Hawaii now, through the democratic process, allowed civil unions.”

Contact Linda McClain, 617-358-4635, lmcclain@bu.edu

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