After hours of debate, the Hawaii House of Representatives passed a bill Friday night to legalize gay marriage in the state, the New York Times reported. The bill is expected to pass the state Senate and be signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the coming days.
Among several confusing things that happened during the Hawaiian legislature’s debate over the bill, a representative became quite possibly the first openly gay lawmaker to vote against legalizing same-sex marriage. The president of Hawaii’s police union told the state House Judiciary and Finance committees they would have to “kill” him before he’d agree to enforcing a law legalizing gay marriage.
The Times notes the bill’s advancement in Hawaii is a particularly historic milestone: In 1993, three gay couples filed a lawsuit seeking marriage licenses in the state. Hawaii’s Supreme Court ruled in their favor, in what was the first judicial indication of support for same-sex marriage in the country. Congress barred federal recognition of gay marriage in response, but two decades and many judicial battles later, same-sex marriages are recognized in 15 states and Washington D.C.