East Hawaii News

UPDATE: House Votes 30-18 to Approve Bill on Second Reading

November 6, 2013, 6:22 PM HST
* Updated November 7, 11:11 AM
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***Updated 9:17 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 7.***

Following a full day of discussion Tuesday, the state House Wednesday night passed the same-gender marriage bill on its second reading without further amendments.

Opponents of the bill proposed nine separate changes to the bill’s wording on the House floor Wednesday, all of which were rejected. Five of the proposed changes were offered by Democrat Rep. Marcus Oshiro, with the others introduced by Republicans, including three by Rep. Gene Ward and one by Rep. Bob McDermott.

The final vote on the House floor was 30-18, with three members excused.

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Of the seven Big Island members of the House, six voted in favor of the bill approved by two House committees on Tuesday. Rep. Clift Tsuji was the only member of the delegation voting against it.

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The House on Tuesday amended Senate Bill 1 to expand its exemptions for religious institutions and removed a section dealing with parental rights.

A third and final reading on the measure is scheduled for Friday.

Posted 6:22 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6:

The state House of Representatives spent the day discussing the same-gender marriage bill approved by two committees Tuesday night, but by early evening apparently had not yet taken a vote on the measure.

House Draft 1 of the bill that originated in the Senate was approved Tuesday on a combined vote of 18-12 in the Judiciary and Finance committees.

A variety of amendments proposed today on the House floor were rejected by a voice vote. They included proposals to delay the bill and to widen the religious exemptions that were the subject of one of Tuesday’s amendments.

A House spokesman said the session that began shortly after 10 a.m. included floor sessions with periodic recesses called to provide opportunities for lawmakers to caucus in closed sessions.

The bill was overwhelmingly approved without changes last week in the Senate, and today’s vote in the House, the second of three, will gauge the degree of support for the measure by that body.

The third House vote is tentatively set for Friday.

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