Posted By Eric Ethington on February 11, 2011
Hawaii – The House Legislature has just voted to pass the Civil Unions bill by a vote of 31-19! The House did make some changes to it however, which will need to be approved by the Senate before it goes to the Governor for signing.
The House voted to pass the bill, but made the minor changes listed below. The bill now moves back to the Senate, where it will need to be approved with the changes. Once that happens, it’s on to Governor Abercrombie for signing!
Senate Bill 232 would grant same-sex and heterosexual couples the ability to enter into a civil union with all of the rights, protections, benefits and responsibilities of traditional marriage.
The House changes — recommended by the state Attorney General’s Office — clarify that because civil unions will not be recognized under federal law, certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code that apply to husbands and wives in Hawaii would apply with the same force and effect to partners in civil unions. Family Court will also have jurisdiction in matters of annulment, divorce and separation in civil unions, as the court does over marriages.