Hawaii was once regarded as a beacon of hope for marriage equality. In the 1990’s it could have been the first state that recognized the right to marry for gay and lesbian couples. A lengthy court case and constitutional amendment later, Hawaii currently has a civil union law, which went into effect in 2011.
Voters in 1998 did not ban marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Rather, they gave the authority to the legislature, which passed a ban that year.
The Hawaii legislature now has the authority to allow gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry in the state. The State House of Representatives is composed of 44 Democrats and 7 Republicans. The State Senate has 24 Democrats and 1 Republican.
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