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Live Blog: Same-Sex Marriage in Hawaii


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The Hawaii State Legislature is considering a proposal to legalize gay marriage in the state. More than 5,100 people signed up to testify at the Hawaii State Capitol. Keep checking back for live updates from the Capitol. Read our previous coverage here.


Nov. 13, 2013

Hawaii governor signs same-sex marriage legislation into law

Photo: Diane Lee

Today Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed the Hawaii Marriage Equality bill into law, making the Aloha State the 15th state to allow gay couples to legally wed.

At the Hawaii Convention Center's Liliu Theater, the governor signed the measure with a koa pen in front of a crowd of about 200 invited guests and state lawmakers.

"I intend to give this pen, that signs this bill on this day, to Justice [Steven] Levinson," Abercombie says. The crowd screamed with joy.

A retired Hawaii Supreme Court Justice, Levinson wrote the 1993 Baehr v. Lewin decision that denying same-sex partners the right to marry violated the state constitution.


11:15 a.m.

"Done!" Abercrombie says, after signing SB1 HD1. The crowd goes wild, cheering and clapping.

Photo: Diane Lee


10:22 a.m.

An emotional Sen. Clayton Hee pauses and chokes up at the podium. The crowd applauds. "I've been telling people my role in this journey has been a small one and an important one. But it's weight is beginning to rest on me," Hee says.

"Someday as the song 'Imagine' depicts the world will accept all of us for who we are," Hee says. "I could never imagine to have played a small role in a profound, yet in my mind, a simple thing to do: bring justice and equality to all."

Photo: Diane Lee


10:10 a.m.

Hawaiian singers Amy Hanaialii and Willie K. reunited for a performance together—the first time in 10 years. "We're kinda out of practice," Willie K. joked. At the ceremony, they sang an emotional mashup of "Imagine" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." After the performance, someone shouted "Thank you—that was beautiful!" Willie K. shouted back, "You're welcome!" The crowd laughed out loud.


10 a.m.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie arrives.


Mostly supporters, including Equality Hawaii, Pride Alliance Hawaii and Hawaii United for Marriage, attended the invitation-only gathering.

Photo: Diane Lee

Kumu Hina and Brad Lum at the gathering.

Photo: Diane Lee

Sen. Clayton Hee, Sen. Chris Lee, Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Sen. Brickwood Galuteria.

PHoto: Diane Lee


9:34 a.m.

A K-9 Unit sniffed the purses, bags and camera equipment of guests upon entering the Hawaii Convention Center's Liliu Theater.


Nov. 12, 2013

4:43 p.m.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie is scheduled to hold a bill signing ceremony for SB1 HD1, 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Hawaii Convention Center's Liliu Theater (Room 310). The event is not open to the public (by invitation only).

You can watch a live stream online at governor.hawaii.gov. And, of course, we'll be at the ceremony so check back here for updates.


1 p.m.

The crowd reacts to the announcement of the vote.

Photos: Michael Keany


12:59 p.m.

The Senate voted 19-4 (2 excused) to approve same-sex marriage legislation.

Here's a breakdown of the votes:

19 Senators voted yes:

  • Sen. Rosalyn Baker (D-South and West Maui)
  • Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland (D-Liliha, Palama, Iwilei, Kalihi, Nuuanu, Pacific Heights, Pauoa, Lower Tantalus, Downtown)
  • Sen. Kalani English (D-Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe)
  • Sen. Will Espero (D-Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point, portion of Ewa Villages)
  • Sen. Brickwood Galuteria (D-Waikiki, Ala Moana, Kakaako, McCully, Moiliili)
  • Sen. Josh Green (D-Kona, Kau)
  • Sen. Clayton Hee (D-Kaneohe , Kaaawa, Hauula, Laie, Kahuku, Waialua, Haleiwa, Wahiawa, Schofield Barracks, Kunia)
  • Sen. David Ige (D-Pearl City, Momilani, Pearlridge, Aiea, Royal Summit, Aiea Heights, Newtown, Waimalu, Halawa, Pearl Harbor)
  • Sen. Les Ihara, Jr. (D-Kaimuki, Kapahulu, Palolo, Maunalani Heights, St. Louis Heights, Moiliili, Ala Wai)
  • Sen. Gilbert Keith-Agaran (D-Wailuku, Waihee, Kahului)
  • Sen. Michelle Kidani (D-Mililani Town, portion of Waipio Gentry, Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia)
  • Sen. Clarence Nishihara (D-Waipahu, Crestview, Manana, Pearl City, Pacific Palisades)
  • Sen. Russell Ruderman (D-Puna, Kau)
  • Sen. Maile Shimabukuro (D-Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko Olina, Nanakuli, Maili, Waianae, Makaha, Makua)
  • Sen. Malama Solomon (D-Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona)
  • Sen. Brian Taniguichi (D-Manoa, Makiki, Punchbowl, Papakolea)
  • Sen. Laura Thielen (D-Kailua, Lanikai, Enchanted Lake, Keolu Hills, Maunawili, Waimanalo, Hawaii Kai, Portlock)
  • Sen. Jill Tokuda (D-Kaneohe, Kaneohe MCAB, Kailua, Heeia, Ahuimanu)
  • Sen. Glenn Wakai (D-Kalihi, Mapunapuna, Airport, Salt Lake, Aliamanu, Foster Village, Hickam, Pearl Harbor)

4 Senators voted no:

  • Sen. Mike Gabbard (D-Kapolei, Makakilo, and portions of Ewa, Kalaeloa, and Waipahu)
  • Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (D-Kapalama, Alewa, Kalihi Valley, Ft. Shafter, Moanalua Gardens & Valley, portions of Halawa and Aiea)
  • Sen. Ronald Kouchi (D-Kauai, Niihau)
  • Sen. Sam Slom (R-Hawaii Kai, Kuliouou, Niu, Aina Haina, Waialae-Kahala, Diamond Head)

2 Senators were excused:

  • Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz (D-Mililani Mauka, Waipio Acres, Wheeler, Wahiawa, Whitmore Village, portion of Poamoho)
  • Sen. Brian Taniguichi (D-Manoa, Makiki, Punchbowl, Papakolea)

The measure now awaits the governor's signature. Here are statements from Gov. Neil Abercrombie and President Barack Obama regarding the legislation's passage.

Check back later for more details.


12:23 p.m.

There's a smaller crowd in the senate chamber today. No chanters outside. A final vote could come shortly.


12:01 p.m.

Sen. Sam Slom speaks in opposition.


11:34 a.m.

Two men walk back and forth along Beretania Street, while holding up competing signs.

Photo: Michael Keany


11:15 a.m.

Sen. Clayton Hee rises in support.


10:34 a.m.

The Senate is discussing same-sex marriage legislation.


Nov. 10, 2013

3:24 p.m.

When the full Senate reviews the measure on Tuesday, don't expect the session to drag on for days like the House.

Here's the latest: Hawaii Senate leader plans to agree on House's version of same-sex marriage bill


Nov. 8, 2013

10:46 p.m.

The scene outside after the vote:

Photo: Jason Ubay

For more scenes from the Capitol, see our photo gallery.


10:08 p.m.

The House passes SB1 HD1 on third reading with 30 yeas and 19 nos (2 excused). Here's a breakdown of the votes:

30 House members voted yes:

  • Rep. Della Au Belatti (D-Makiki, Tantalus, Papakolea, McCully, Pawaa, Manoa)
  • Rep. Tom Brower (D-Waikiki, Ala Moana)
  • Rep. Denny Coffman (D-Naalehu, Ocean View, Capt. Cook, Kealakekua, Kailua-Kona)
  • Rep. Cindy Evans (D-North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala)
  • Rep. Faye Hanohano (D-Puna)
  • Rep. Mark Hashem (D-Hahaione, Kuliouou, Niu Valley, Aina Haina, Waialae, Kahala)
  • Rep. Linda Ichiyama (D-Moanalua Valley, Salt Lake, Aliamanu)
  • Rep. Kaniela Ing (D-Kihei, Wailea, Makena)
  • Rep. Derek Kawakami (D-Hanalei, Princeville, Kilauea, Anahola, Kapaa, Wailua)
  • Rep. Bertrand Kobayashi (D-Waialae Kahala, Diamond Head, Kaimuki, Kapahulu)
  • Rep. Chris Lee (D-Kailua, Waimanalo)
  • Rep. Nicole Lowen (D-Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau)
  • Rep. Sylvia Luke (D-Makiki, Punchbowl, Nuuanu, Dowsett Highlands, Pacific Heights, Pauoa)
  • Rep. Angus McKelvey (D-West Maui, Maalaea, North Kihei)
  • Rep. John Mizuno (D-Kalihi Valley, Kamehameha Heights, portion of Lower Kalihi)
  • Rep. Dee Morikawa (D-Niihau, Lehua, Koloa, Waimea)
  • Rep. Mark Nakashima (D-Hamakua, North Hilo, South Hilo)
  • Rep. Scott Nishimoto (D-Kapahulu, McCully, Moiliili)
  • Rep. Takashi Ohno (D-Nuuanu, Liliha, Puunui, Alewa Heights)
  • Rep. Richard Onishi (D-Hilo, Keaau, Kurtistown, Volcano)
  • Rep. Karl Rhoads (D-Kalihi, Palama, Iwilei, Chinatown)
  • Rep. Scott Saiki (D-McCully, Kaheka, Kakaako, Downtown)
  • Rep. Calvin Say (D-St. Louis Heights, Palolo, Maunalani Heights, Wilhelmina Rise, Kaimuki)
  • Rep. Mark Takai (D-Aiea)
  • Rep. Gregg Takayama (D-Pearl City, Waimalu, Pacific Palisades)
  • Rep. Roy Takumi (D- Pearl City, Manana, Waipio)
  • Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R-Kailua, Kaneohe Bay)
  • Rep. Jessica Wooley (D-Kaneohe, Heeia, Ahuimanu, Kahaluu, Haiku Valley, Mokuoloe)
  • Rep. Kyle Yamashita (D-Sprecklesville, Pukalani, Makawao, Kula, Keokea, Ulupalakua, Kahului)
  • Rep. Joseph Souki (D- Kahakuloa, Waihee, Waiehu, Puuohala, Wailuku, and Waikapu)

19 House members voted no:

  • Rep. Henry Aquino (D-Waipahu)
  • Rep. Karen Awana (D-Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko Olina, Kahe Point, Nanakuli, Lualualei, Maili)
  • Rep. Romy Cachola (D-Sand Island, Mokauea, Kapalama, Kalihi Kai)*
  • Rep. Mele Carroll (D-Haiku, Hana, Kaupo, Kipahulu, Nahiku, Paia, Kahoolawe, Molokini, Lanai, Molokai, Molokini)
  • Rep. Ty Cullen (D-Royal Kunia, Village Park, Waipahu, Makakilo, West Loch)
  • Rep. Richard Fale (R-Waialua, Haleiwa, Pupukea, Kahuku, Laie, Hauula, Waiahole, Sunset Beach, Punaluu, Kaaawa)
  • Rep. Beth Fukumoto (R-Mililani Mauka, Mililani)
  • Rep. Sharon Har (D-Kapolei, Makakilo)
  • Rep. Ken Ito (D-Kaneohe, Maunawili, Olomana)
  • Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson (R-Moanalua, Red Hill, Foster Village, Aiea, Fort Shafter, Moanalua Gardens, Aliamanu, Lower Pearlridge)
  • Rep. Jo Jordan (D-Waianae, Makaha, Makua, Maili)
  • Rep. Lauren Kealohilani Matsumoto Cheape (R-Schofield, Mokuleia, Waialua, Kunia, Waipio Acres, Mililani)
  • Rep. Bob McDermott (R-Ewa, Ewa Beach, Ewa Gentry, Iroquois Point)
  • Rep. Marcus Oshiro (D-Wahiawa, Whitmore Village)
  • Rep. James Kunane Tokioka (D-Wailua Homesteads, Hanamaulu, Lihue, Puhi, Old Koloa Town, Omao)
  • Rep. Clift Tsuji (D-Keaukaha, parts of Hilo, Panaewa, Waiakea)
  • Rep. Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley)
  • Rep. Justin Woodson (D-Kahului, Puunene, Old Sand Hills, Maui Lani)
  • Rep. Ryan Yamane (D-Mililani, Waipio Gentry, Waikele)

2 House members were excused:

  • Rep. Rida Cabanilla (D-Ewa Villages, Ewa Beach, Ewa Gentry, Ocean Pointe, West Loch)
  • Rep. Isaac Choy (D-Manoa, Punahou, University, Moiliili)

*Note: Rep. Romy Cachola is the only lawmaker to change his vote. He went from "excused" during second reading to "no" during third reading.

The proposal now moves to the Senate for final consideration. Because the House committees made changes to the original draft, the measure returns to the Senate for review and final approval. The Senate will need to agree or disagree with the changes. If approved, the proposal will be sent to the governor for his signature. If the Senate disagrees, then a conference committee will be formed to negotiate the differences between the House and Senate.

Session begins 10 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12 in the Senate chambers. The Senate's floor session will be broadcast live on Olelo (channel 55) and streamed online. If you're planning to attend session at the Capitol, then get there early. Doors will open approximately 9:30 a.m.


9:34 p.m.

Rep. Marcus Oshiro asks, "What's the rush?" to pass the measure. "There's still time to fix the bill. There is no need to rush," he says.


8:52 p.m.

"I am sorry to say, I am still in opposition to SB1," Rep. Jo Jordan says.



8:21 p.m.

Rep. Richard Fale just told his supporters outside to keep quiet for 15 minutes to allow the opposition to speak in peace.

Shortly after, Fale tells the legislative body he planned to bring dog food to the chamber. He calls the special session, "A Dog and Pony Show."


7:50 p.m.

Rep. Karen Awana says she's against the measure.


Rep. Kaniela Ing says, "It is the right thing to do." He adds, "I agree with Macklemore—it's the Same Love."


7:08 p.m.

Rep. Chris Lee says he rises in support.


6:58 p.m.

House members are delivering their final remarks on the measure, before a final vote.

Here's the scene outside the chambers:

Photos: Michael Keany


6:03 p.m.

A final vote on SB1 HD1 is expected shortly.


5:35 p.m.

House is now discussing floor amendment 29. Looks like the last one.


5:05 p.m.

The House just shot down floor amendment 25.


4:44 p.m.

The House rejects Rep. Marcus Oshiro's floor amendment 22.


4:25 p.m.

The chanting continues.


4:06 p.m.

The House is discussing amendment 21. (We're told the amendments are not available online for the public to see.)


3:46 p.m.

The House is going through 17 amendments. We are on the seventh of 17 amendments.


3:37 p.m.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie is in the House! Half of the room cheers, while the other half "boos" him and breaks into chanting, "Let the people vote!"


2:53 P.m.

Happening outside the Capitol.


2:50 p.m.

Gay marriage opponents stopped chanting. They gathered in the Capitol routunda to sing, God Is Love.


Gay marriage supporters gather outside to sing, Israel Kamakawiwoole's Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Kumu Hina, above, tells gay marriage supporters: "You can yell and chant and scream all you like, but we are here and we will not go away. We will not roll over."

Hina adds, "I'm so totally insulted by the use of the Hawaiian flag to promote that agenda."  Someone shouts, "Thank you!"


2:46 p.m.

Lawmakers haven't returned to the House floor yet.


1:39 p.m.

House members went to lunch, then they'll caucus at 1:45 p.m.

In the meantime, read our exclusive interview with Rep. Jo Jordan on why she voted against same-sex marriage legislation.


12:01 p.m.

"Mr. Speaker, you've already got 30 votes, so you don't need my vote," Rep. Bob McDermott says.

Shortly after, Rep. Ward's floor amendment is rejected.


11:30 a.m.

Rep. Gene Ward introduces Amendment 15. He expresses concern for the "momma bears" and "poppa bears." “The momma bears are demanding, 'Protect our kids,'" he says.

During the middle of Ward's speech, the gavel comes down. The House speaker cuts off Ward's microphone, because a recess has been called.

"Recess is out of order," Ward says.

Rep. Joe Souki and other lawmakers confront Ward about the House rules.


11:37 p.m.

Floor Amendment 14 has failed.


11:15 p.m.

They're back. Rep. Richard Fale requests a task force to study the social and economical impacts of same-sex marriage in Hawaii, before taking legislative action.


11:07 a.m.

The House is in recess. Inside the House chamber, you can hear people outside chanting, "Let the people vote!" Gay marriage supporters are waiting to get inside.


9:53 a.m.

Sign wavers gathered along Beretania Street hours before the start of session.


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