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Hawaii Poised To Legalize Gay Marriage As House Passes Bill

AP Photo / Oskar Garcia

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.