A proposed gay marriage bill in Hawaii
cleared an initial hurdle in the Senate on Monday.
After a marathon hearing that lasted
nearly 12 hours, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the marriage
bill with a 5-2 vote.
The measure now heads for a second
reading among the full Senate on Tuesday.
Senators Mike Gabbard, a
Republican-turned-Democrat, and Sam Slom, a Republican, voted against
the bill. Slom said that the debate has caused division in Hawaii.
Roughly 1,800 people signed up to
testify in person at Monday's hearing and another 4,000 pages of
written testimony were submitted ahead of the hearing.
Governor Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat,
has pledged to sign the marriage bill, if it is approved by lawmakers.
Legislature has votes to pass gay marriage bill.)