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Senate committee lines up for civil unions

The new composition of the Hawaii Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee favors same-sex civil unions.

Committee assignments announced Wednesday put five senators on the committee, three who previously voted for civil unions and two who opposed them.

Any proposed civil unions bill would likely flow through the committee, which previously split on the measure on a 3-3 vote.

If the measure passes its committees, advocacy group Equality Hawaii has said it would have enough votes for approval in the full House and Senate.

The group says 30 of 51 representatives and at least 19 of 25 senators support civil unions.

Judiciary Committee Sens. Clayton Hee, Dwight Takamine and Les Ihara back civil unions, while Sens. Mike Gabbard and Sam Slom oppose them.

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