Testimony ends in Hawaii gay marriage hearing

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Lawmakers on two House committees have finished taking nearly five days of public testimony on a bill to legalize gay marriage.

A joint hearing of the House judiciary and finance committees wrapped up taking comments Tuesday afternoon from speakers given two minutes each.

Rep. Karl Rhoads, head of the judiciary committee, declared a one-hour recess as lawmakers talk about amendments to the bill.

House Majority Leader Scott Saiki says the committee is likely to broaden a religious exemption that keeps clergy from having to perform ceremonies for same-sex couples.

If the bill passes the committees, it could go to the House floor for a second reading Tuesday night and pass the chamber this week.

The Senate would have to approve any changes before the bill goes to Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

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