The Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of this measure by 3-2 votes Tuesday, forwarding it to a vote before the full Senate.
The objective is to set up this law as soon as possible. The Democrats wish that it be sent quickly to the new governor Neil Abercrombie.
Last year, an identical measure had been sent to the governor, Linda Lingle, but she prohibited it. This year, it is different, the governor Neil Abercrombie supports the civil unions. Hawaii could become the 6th state to grant the same rights of marriage to same-sex couples without authorizing marriage itself.