The Hawaii Senate gave final legislative approval Tuesday to a bill extending marriage rights to same-sex couples.
The measured cleared the state Senate on a 19-4 vote, as hundreds of supporters who filled the chamber’s visitor galleries and the Capitol rotunda, wearing flowered garland leis, cheered and applauded.
Governor Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat who called the special session to consider the bill, has indicated he would swiftly sign the legislation into law, making Hawaii the 15th U.S. state to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples. An aide to the governor said he expected Abercrombie to sign the measure on Wednesday morning. As passed, the bill would take effect on Dec. 2.
President Barack Obama sent a statement of congratulations to the state where he was born on Tuesday night.
Photo: Hugh Gentry/Reuters