US: Hawaii officials to take up equal marriage bill in special session today
Officials in the US state of Hawaii are to take up the issue of equal marriage in a special session held on Monday.
Governor Neil Abercrombie released a draft for the bill in August. If Hawaii legalises same-sex marriage, it would become the 15th US state to do so.
The measure before the officials is titled the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013. The bill is based on earlier proposed legislation, and specifically protects religious institutions.
The protection reads “that unless a religious organization allows use of its facilities or grounds by the general public for weddings for a profit, such organization shall not be required to make its facilities or grounds available for solemnization of any marriage celebration.”
The legislation is expected to easily pass in the Senate, and also appears to have enough support to pass in the House, reports Hawaii News Now, which does report that it may be tight.