Live Blog: Same-Sex Marriage in Hawaii
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Nov. 5, 2013
Check back for more updates. Read Hawaii House committee pass bill to legalize gay marriage, moves to full House.
People start chanting, "Let the people vote!"
In the Capitol rotunda, Rep. Richard Fale tells the crowd, "We are not defeated!"
The crowd inside the House chamber erupts into excitement.
In the House chamber, Rep. Karl Rhoads says due to last minute changes to SB1, the House will resume session at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Nov. 6.
House Committee on Finance chairwoman Sylvia Luke and House Committee on Judiciary chairman Karl Rhoads meets with reporters. Rep. Sylvia Luke says they introduced changes to the proposal due to concerns expressed by representatives and people who testified. After taking in testimonies, Luke and Rhoads says they prolonged deliberations to allow lawmakers more time to "digest" the updated legislation.
The House will be meeting for a brief session at 6 p.m., then will recess.
The House Committees on Finance and Judiciary voted 18-12 to approve an amended SB1, which now moves to full House for a vote. Here's a breakdown of the votes:
10 Finance committee members voting yes:
- Rep. Sylvia Luke (D-Makiki, Punchbowl, Nuuanu, Dowsett, Highlands, Pacific Heights, Pauoa)
- Rep. Scott Nishimoto (D-Kapahulu, McCully, Moiliili)
- Rep. Mark Hashem (D-Hahaione, Kuliouou, Niu Valley, Aina Haina, Waialae, Kahala)
- Rep. Kaniela Ing (D-Makena, Wailea, Kihei)
- Rep. Bertrand Kobayashi (D-Waialae, Kahala, Diamond Head, Kaimuki, Kapahulu)
- Rep. Nicole Lowen (D-Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau)
- Rep. Dee Morikawa (D-Niihau, Lehua, Waimea, Koloa)
- Rep. Richard Onishi (D-Hilo, Keaau, Kurtistown, Pahala, Honoapu, Volcano)
- Rep. Gregg Takayama (D-Pearl City, Waimalu, Pacific Palasades)
- Rep. Kyle Yamashita (D-Pukalani, Makawao, Spreckelsville, Keokea, Kahului, Kula, Ulupalakua)
7 Finance committee members voting no:
- Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson (R-Red Hill, Foster Village, Aiea, Fort Shafter, Moanalua Gardens, Aliamanu, Lower Pearlridge, Moanalua)
- Rep. Ty J.K. Cullen (D-Royal Kunia, Village Park, Waipahu, Makakilo, West Loch
- Rep. Jo Jordan (D-Waianae, Makaha, Makua, Maili)
- Rep. James Kunane Tokioka (D-Wailua Homesteads, Hanamaulu, Lihue, Puhi, Old Koloa Town, Omao)
- Rep. Justin Woodson (D-Kahului, Puunene, Old Sand Hills, Maui Lani)
- Rep. Beth Fukumoto (R-Mililani Mauka, Mililani)
- Rep. Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley)
8 Judiciary committee members voting yes:
- Rep. Karl Rhoads (D-Kalihi, Palama, Iwilei, Chinatown)
- Rep. Della Au Belatti (D-Makiki, Tantalus, Papkolea, McCully, Pawaa, Manoa)
- Rep. T0m Brower (D-Waikiki, Ala Moana)
- Rep. Denny Coffman (D-Naalehu, Ocean View, Capt. Cook, Kealakekua, Kailua-Kona)
- Rep. Derek Kawakami (D-Hanalei, Princeville, Kilauea, Anahola, Wailua, Kapaa)
- Rep. Chris Lee (D-Kailua, Waimanalo)
- Rep. Jessica Wooley (D-Haiku Valley, Kahaluu, Heeia, Ahuimanu, Mokuoloe, Kaneohe)
- Rep. Cynthia Henry Thielen (R-Kailua, Kaneohe Bay)
5 Judiciary committee members voting no:
- Rep. Sharon Har (D-Kapolei, Makakilo)
- Rep. Mele Carroll (D-Kahoolawe, Molokini, Lanai, Molokai, Haiku, Kaupo, Kipahulu, Paia, Nahiku, Hana)
- Rep. Ken Ito (D-Maunawili, Kaneohe, Olomana)
- Rep. Clift Tsuji (D-Keaukaha, parts of Hilo, Panaewa, Waiakea)
- Rep. Bob McDermott (R-Ewa, Ewa Beach, Ewa Gentry, Iroquois Point)
People were emotional. Some even cried. Those sitting in the back row used their smartphones to film lawmakers' speeches.
Rep. Karl Rhoads recommends to move the legislation forward with three significant amendments:
- Expanding religious exemptions based on Connecticut's same-sex marriage law. A clergy, minister, priest, rabbi, religious groups/officers authorized to perform solemnizations would not be required to solmenize any marriage that violates their religious beliefs or faith. The amended legislation would provide them immunity from any administrative, civil and legal liability for refusing or failing to perform a marriage solemnization. These provisions would also apply to Civil Unions.
- Removing the parental rights provision from the proposal.
- Effective date changed from Nov. 18 to Dec. 2, 2013.
They're starting to let people in.
Rep. Karl Rhoads announces that they will be in recess until 4:15 p.m., then they will release a decision.
The line outside is long!
Rep. Karl Rhoads announces lawmakers need more time to deliberate. They will return around 3:30 p.m.
People are lining up outside the auditorium to get in. Only media and staff are allowed to stay inside.
Rep. Karl Rhoads thanks the House minority staff for volunteering their time during the special session. "We all appreciate your efforts for a marathon session," Rhoads says. "I think it's probably the longest hearing ever in the history of Hawaii." The audience stands up and starts clapping.
Rep. Karl Rhoads announces they're going into recess until 3 p.m. Decision to follow. "If you'd like to witness the vote, you're welcome to come back," he says.
The last man to testify reaches the podium. Rep. Sylvia Luke says, "Congratulations!" The audience laughs out loud.
The last few people waiting in line to testify. We're almost done!
One woman testifies: "Just because Lady Gaga says you're born this way, doesn't mean it's right."
Rep. Sylvia Luke announces the last person in line will be the last testifier. Afterwards, lawmakers will go into deliberation for decision making.
A pregnant mother of eight says she wrote three or four different speeches for her testimony. She asks lawmakers to "kill the bill." She says the Hawaii State Teachers Association did not ask teachers how they felt about gay marriage, before coming out to support it. "I don't want to be forced to teach someone else's religion and call it education," she says.
Leslie Among is testifier No. 3,248. He tells lawmakers he used to play guitar for Bruno Mars when he was just a young performer in Waikiki. Among asks lawmakers to let the people decide, instead of playing God.
Rep. Bob McDermott asks one female testifier, "Why has the education board chairman not shown up?"
"Because this is not the education bill," replies Tara O'Neill, a professor of science education at University of Hawaii-Manoa.
"I don't know if she can answer that question," Rep. Sylvia Luke interrupts.
The crowd laughs out loud.
We're told Hawaii State Board of Education chairman Don Horner wanted to testify yesterday, but was turned away because he did not sign up on time to testify.
Hawaii Rep. Sylvia Luke announces, "This is your last opportunity to testify." Deliberations will start, hopefully, around 2 p.m.
We're in the homestretch! There's no one else waiting in the line outside the auditorium for numbers between 5,001 and 5,184.
It's 84-degrees outside and 14 gay marriage supporters are sign waving along Beretania Street. GLBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii chair, Michael Golojuch, Jr., announces to them, "Illinois just took gay marriage! Illinois just took gay marriage!" One supporter holding a rainbow flag shouts, "Wohoo!"