A Senate Committee in Hawaii passed a civil unions bill that would give same-sex couples the exact same rights as married couples. It passed by a 3-2 vote and must be passed by the full Senate and the House before it’s signed by the recently sworn in Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who has said he’ll sign the bill if it’s passed. A similar bill made it through both houses last year but was vetoed by former Gov. Linda Lingle.
In Maryland, a gay marriage law was introduced in the House yesterday, starting the long process toward ratification.
However, there’s bad news from Wyoming and Iowa who each have gay marriage bans currently up for vote.
Wyoming is voting on two bills against gay marriage, one that bans gay marriage and also the recognition of any gay marriages performed outside of the state. But don’t worry, the bills only passed an initial vote (21-9) yesterday. It has to pass two more rounds of votes in the Senate before it goes to the House where it’s not expected to garner enough votes to pass.
Iowa on the other hand is another story. After passing in a House committee Monday (13-8) their gay marriage ban is now eligible to be discussed before the full House and if passed could head to the Senate. Democrats in Iowa however are on the defensive and there’s already been talk about appealing the decision to the Sup. Ct. much like what led to gay marriage being legal in California before Prop. 8 overturned the Sup. Ct. decision.
Currently gay marriage is legal in five states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire and Vermont) and Washington D.C.