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Hawaii lawmakers pushing for marriage amendments

February 3, 2013
The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A bipartisan group of 15 Hawaii representatives is advocating for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

If passed, the amendment would be placed on the ballot during the November 2014 election. Sen. Mike Gabbard, a Democrat, is proposing a similar bill in the Senate.

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage was also introduced in the House recently. Rep. Faye Hanohano, a Democrat, is the bill's sole sponsor.

Rep. John Mizuno, a Democrat from Kalihi, introduced two bills last month regarding marriage. Both propose constitutional amendments, but while one bill legalizes same-sex marriage, the other limits marriage to heterosexual couples.

Mizuno said that he personally supports traditional marriage but wants voters to make the decision.

"I'm not afraid to let the people decide," he said.

Gabbard said that a ballot initiative would be the most democratic way to resolve the issue.

Gabbard is a former Republican who campaigned against promoting homosexuality in the 1990s. He pushed for a constitutional amendment giving the state Legislature the power to limit marriage to a man and a woman. The amendment passed in 1998.



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