A Hawaii Senate committee has advanced a bill legalizing gay marriage to the full Senate after a marathon session of testimony that ended nearly 12 hours after it began.
The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced its proposal to legalize marriage for same-sex couples in a 5-2 vote on Monday night.
That sets up a second reading among the full Senate for Tuesday morning.
Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Clayton Hee led the votes for the bill after thanking members of the public for testifying. The hearing drew large crowds with nearly 4,000 pages of testimony submitted.
"This measure represents the Committee's best effort to balance the interests of supporters and opponents of this issue," said Sen. Clayton Hee, Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor. "The Senate's bill preserves religious freedoms and ensures that the rights of all Americans are preserved as enshrined in the United States and Hawaii Constitutions."
Sens. Sam Slom and Mike Gabbard voted against advancing the bill. Slom says it has caused division in Hawaii.
The bill will now go to the full Senate for a vote.
Two House committees will hear the bill Thursday if it passes the Senate first.