Same-sex civil unions bill stalls

HONOLULU – Hawaii lawmakers declined to vote Friday on a bill that would have allowed same-sex civil unions, effectively killing the measure.

State House leaders said a narrow majority of representatives would have voted for civil unions, but they decided to indefinitely postpone a decision on whether to grant gay and lesbian couples the same rights and benefits the state provides to married couples.

Civil union supporters in the crowded House gallery on Friday shouted “Shame on you!” while opponents cheered.

“It’s an election year, and they’re more concerned about keeping their seats than doing what’s right,” said Stephen Nagle, of Kaaawa, wearing a rainbow lei in support of civil unions.

The state Senate had approved a civil unions bill last week. But House leadership wavered on pushing the controversial issue.


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