The Senate was poised Tuesday to pass civil unions legislation and send the bill to the governor for his signature, but Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Clayton Hee proposed the delay to make sure there was adequate public notice after the bill reached the Senate.
The measure had passed the House on Friday.
Hee called for the delay out of "an abundance of caution," although he said he believed the two-day notice period had already passed.
Hawaii would become the seventh state to grant essentially the same rights of marriage to same-sex couples without authorizing marriage itself.
Five states and the District of Columbia permit same-sex marriage.