People gather at a rally against same sex marriage at the Hawaii State Capital in Honolulu

The anti-gay side. (Reuters / Hugh Gentry)

Hawai’i is now even closer to becoming the fifteenth marriage equality state:

Hawaii’s state Senate approved legislation on Wednesday to legalize same-sex marriage in a state long popular as a wedding and honeymoon destination, voting overwhelmingly to repeal a voter-approved constitutional amendment banning gay matrimony.

The 20-4 vote in favor of the bill, with three Democrats joining the state Senate’s lone Republican to oppose the measure, came two days after the start of a special session called by Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie to take up the legislation. One senator was absent for the vote.

If the bill is approved, as expected, by the state House of Representatives – where Democrats outnumber Republicans 44-7 – Hawaii would become the 15th vote to make it legal for gay and lesbian couples to wed.

The House will allow testimony until midnight tonight, which should lead to some hilarious clips from the anti-gay side. And then they will lose, and Hawai’i will finally have marriage equality.