Hawaii, the state where it all began and eventually led to the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, will soon become the 16th state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.
On Friday, the Hawaii House of Representatives voted 30-19 to approve the bill after 12 hours of debate. This vote followed the Senate's approval on Oct. 30. Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a strong supporter of marriage equality, is expected to to sign the bill and make it law next week and gay couples will be able to marry as soon as Dec. 2.
After hours and hours of debate, Hawaii's Senate Judiciary Committee approved a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill now goes to the full Senate.
The vote was 5-2 Monday night after 12 hours of debate, according to a story by the Associated Press.
A second reading of the bill in the full Senate is set for Tuesday.
Yesterday, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law a bill legalizing civil unions for the state's same-sex couples. In doing so, Hawaii became the seventh state to enact civil union legislation for same-sex couples.
Hawaii's state Senate voted to pass the legislation by a 19 to 6 margin, while the House voted 31 to 19.
According to Hawaiian ABC affiliate KITV, the law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2012, though equality advocates in the state are already celebrating.