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Breaking: Hawaii House Committees Vote Yes On Same-Sex Marriage Bill

by David Badash on November 5, 2013

in Marriage,News,Politics

Post image for Breaking: Hawaii House Committees Vote Yes On Same-Sex Marriage Bill

5182 people registered to speak. Almost 60 hours and five full days of testimony heard. And after this exhausting portion of a special legislative session, the Hawaii House Judiciary and House Finance Committees Tuesday passed Governor Neil Abercrombie’s same-sex marriage bill onto the full House for a vote, which will begin at midnight tonight, Eastern time.

Lawmakers had patiently sat through a marathon parade of religious zealots, many of whom appeared to be reading from similar-sounding speeches, some of whom could not even properly read the speeches they had waited a day or more to deliver.

Lawmakers Tuesday night were far from unanimous, but overall agreed to adopt greater religious exemptions, based on Connecticut law, and made a few other procedural changes. If passed by the full House, same-sex marriage would become legal before the end of the year.

LOOK: Pat Robertson Created Group Behind Massive Anti-Gay Hate In Hawaii’s Marriage Hearings

Charges of cheating and speaking on behalf of other people, testifying more than once, and other attempts to bypass the rules were brought and ultimately on Monday the House was forced to institute a strict policy that made those who wished to testify provide proof of their ID.

LOOK: ‘You Would Have To Kill Me’: Hawaii Police Union President Speaks Against Gay Marriage Laws

“90 percent of the information is duplicative, but we made a commitment to hear testimony, because this is a serious issue, and this is important for a lot of people,” Rep. Sylvia Luke said today. “But if people are trying to get other people — or trying to testify on behalf of other people — then that kind of defeats the whole purpose of having this hearing.”

Much like the marriage equality hearings in Rhode Island, the vast majority of testifiers invoked the Bible, religious, and many lies about LGBT people.

“I’m representing God right now,” one woman testifying late into the day Monday told the committees. “You pulled me out of my house today to speak for the Lord. I have the love of Jesus and I love you all. You have the power not to pass this bill. There are boundaries to protect us, to protect our children. The aloha spirit comes from the holy spirit.”

Another claimed she opposed the bill on First Amendment grounds, and began to read the First Amendment. “I am appalled at the way this bill is being pushed through.”

Most of those opposed to equality identified themselves as “a registered voter” and “as a Christian” and claimed similar arguments: the bill is unconstitutional, it abridges their civil rights, children will be forced to learn about gay sex practices in school, what’s the rush?, let the people vote, homosexuality is a choice, this process is undemocratic, and homosexuality is against God.

“Now I can be a perpetrator, going into a restroom dressed like a girl,” one man, who said he is a father, told the lawmakers, assuming the same-sex marriage bill would pass. “The churches can now get sued… there’s going to be a lot of chaos, a lot of hate… SB-1 stands for ‘stupid bill number one.’”

2013 Hawaii Legislature Special Session on same-sex marriage - KITV Home-25Sadly, the last person to testify (right) teased lawmakers as to his position. He mentioned he had a gay brother and a straight HIV-positive sister, and danced around his position on marriage equality.

In the end, he held up a yellow rubber electric plug and socket to demonstrate that same-sex marriage is “wrong.”

In the end, lawmakers actually followed the law and not malformed and ignorant opinions or the Bible.

Image: Marriage equality supporters on Monday outside the Hawaii state capitol. Photo by michellebvd via Instagram

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{ 9 comments }

BJLincoln November 5, 2013 at 11:11 pm

I wish I could stay up and listen to it. I have listened in on so many arguments. Most of the pro side are people with friends and families plus LGBT families begging to be heard. The con side, con being the operative word, believe the lies and twisted teachings of their holy book and preachers. Thank goodness the government bodies look past the religious BS and vote for equality.
This has been a long few days with people saying the most contradictory things. How can you say you love and respect your LGBT family member or friends and deny them the same happiness you have in one sentence?
You believe in equality and non-discrimination but don't think LGBT people are entitled to be treated equally with respect?
One of the voters tonight said she had a family member who was gay. The went on to say the LGBT community has gotten arrogant because we think we are winning. The worst was when she claimed she had been threatened in her email and THAT was the ugly that came out of the whole 5 days! Excuse me?! The thousands of bible waving, lie telling, ignorant bunch of manipulating "Christian" voters was not as bad as 1 threatening email?!
While I'm sorry for the email, it happens to everyone by stupid jerks and is not the ugliest thing to happen in the last 5 days.

xybender2 November 6, 2013 at 1:45 am

Finally, the stupid Christians are defeated. There is nothing more paradoxical as the Bible. Its dubious nonsense is the opium of the mass. Jesus didn't even exist in written history.

MiddleGrounds November 6, 2013 at 5:51 am

Good for Hawaii! Show the TRUE ALOHA SPIRIT by showing that you care about the PEOPLE and NOT the religious zealots that plagued your courts!

You deserve praise for your standing up to the REAL demons that want to crush equality for ALL!

cipher November 6, 2013 at 9:42 am

I get so much pleasure contemplating the pain this is causing the evangelicals.

rickyclawson November 6, 2013 at 9:43 am

I wonder if this is what is was like for our parents and grandparents, watching and participating with the social issues of the 1950's and 1960's? Things were VERY ugly, lots of Bible thumping then too. I can't envision segregated water-fountains, buses, lunch counters. I've wondered if those people would be ashamed of their views today? Or how our children and grandchildren will look back at our era.

sallyedelstein November 6, 2013 at 11:16 am

Another victory for gay marriage as Illinois joins the other 15 states in finally removing some of the barriers to Gay and Lesbian full participation in the American Dream.

As ideas of traditional marriage slowly dissolve the notions of traditional marriage are as dated as some of the vintage images we've grown up with.

It wasn't long ago that the notion of gay marriage was inconceivable as portrayed in a 1972 homophobic comic book which ominously predicted a future filled with…gasp gay marriage. To view these and other vintage images concerning traditional marriage, visit http://envisioningtheamericandream.com/2013/04/01

PeopleSpeak808 November 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm

THE ANSWER TO MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY!!! (Must Read)

I feel that this can be solved to make both sides happy so we can all live in peace together. The ACLU and many that are for marriage equality have all voiced the same point….. Thany want it for the equal ability to receive all and full benifits that traditionally married people receive. The opposing side wants marriage not to be redefined. So how you ask…… Easy, redefine the Civil Union's bill that is already written into law that definse "Civil Unions," equal to traditionally married couples and therefore allowed to receive full benifits that tradionally married couples are allowed. This would then allow all rights and privilages to same-sex married couples to Family leave act, Death benifits, as well as a multitude of other benifits that are not currently available to them.

PeopleSpeak808 November 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Cont'd…

If this is done, all those that are against the redefinition of marriage will have no grounds to argue on because we are not redefining marriage. Just allow others to live in a peaceful way with the ability to not worry about the future of finances of their spouse. If the Same-sex couple wanna call them selves married they have that right to because it is just a name. To have to bash heads with the other side about redefinition of marriage is NOT needed with this option. You decide if Civil Rights are for everyone and NOT a select few. By redefining marriage it is being said that Civil Rights are for one side or the other. I believe that Civil Rights are for all and in that sense we need to find an outcome that will make all sides happy so we DO NOT tell someone else their Civil Rights are meaningless. Just some food for thought on this whole sensless situation. If it was done in the way I stated earlier, all of this could have been avoided and it would already have been writen into law. CIVIL RIGHTS FOR ALL!!!!! NOT JUST SOME…….

SpectreWriter November 11, 2013 at 1:27 am

Unfortunately, that wouldn't satisfy the bigots either. This isn't about a word. This is about disenfranchising gay people. Yes, it really is that plain and simple.

Mahalo to all the good legislators who made sure that all people are equal in their right to marry whomever they want. No one, government, citizen or church, has any business dictating whom someone else may choose to spend his/her life with — no matter what word is hung on doing so.

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