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Posted: Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 4:54 AM HST

Hawaii Senate poised for civil union vote

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) — A divided state Senate will vote today on whether to revive civil unions for gay couples after the legislation had stalled.

It only takes nine people in the 25-member Senate to take the extraordinary step of forcing the civil unions bill onto the Senate floor, but the vote may be close.

Senate President Colleen Hanabusa and Judiciary Chairman Brian Taniguchi intend to oppose the maneuver to pull the bill from a committee, which deadlocked in a 3-3 tie over the issue.

As many as 18 senators have said they support civil unions, but many of them won't vote to pull the bill without the support of leadership.

Majority Leader Gary Hooser will make the motion to yank the bill onto the Senate floor.

(Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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