updated 3/25/2009 8:29:58 PM ET 2009-03-26T00:29:58

An effort to force a vote on same-sex civil unions failed in the Hawaii Senate on Wednesday, essentially killing the measure.

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Only six senators supported the legislative maneuver, short of the nine votes required for a full Senate vote.

Even though about 18 senators have indicated they support civil unions, they lacked the political willpower to go against Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, who opposed the effort.

Hanabusa has supported civil unions but said she didn't want to override the normal lawmaking process by lifting the bill from its committee, where it had stalled following a 3-3 vote.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Brian Taniguchi says there's still hope that the bill could be amended and revived, but that probably wouldn't happen until next year.

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