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Senate approves marriage equality bill

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Oct 30 2013 06:12:00 PM HST

The Hawaii State Senate passed the marriage equality bill, which now goes to the House for a second vote.

HONOLULU -

The Senate vote came amidst a morning of applause and the occasional boo or jeer.

There was head holding and silent prayer, some fist pumping and one man left visibly in disgust.

Click here to watch Catherine Cruz's report.

"Madam President, we have 20 ayes, four nos and one excused.  Senate bill one passes 3rd reading.” read the Senate clerk.

Outside, same-sex marriage supporters were all smiles.

"Very happy, very happy and I would hope for the same success in the house. My partner and I were married in California in 2008. We think it’s important that marriage equality be extended here in Hawaii," said Big Island  resident Brad Clark

"This is the beginning of a terrific step forward," said ACLU’s Lois Perrin.

But it was a sad day for those who believe in traditional marriage.

"It's God's timing.  I think things can change, but I really feel so shaken up," said Honolulu resident Lynn Hiramoto.

"I was very sad, very saddened. The people are not for same sex marriage and the reaction was they didn't hear us we have not been heard,” said  Maui Pastor Gretchen Freitas.

The vote was lauded as a defining moment by some, and shameful to others.

"We must malama, which means to take care and we must ikei,  which means to recognize, and we must pono. We must do right," said same-sex marriage supporter Sen. Malama Solomon.

"The curtain comes down on the drama that has been this political theater, because in fact, this was not a special session.  It was totally scripted and totally politicized. The votes were extracted and taken before we ever met," said  same-sex opponent Sen. Sam Slom.

The bill has been transmitted to the house where leadership said it will be amended because of concerns about religious exemptions.

"If the Senate agrees with the amendments, it would go up to the governor for his consideration, and if we were to amend disagree, as with other bills, it would be set for conference,” said Sen. Clayton Hee.

Click here to see photos from the special session.

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