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Hawaii House Approves Marriage Equality Bill

Jim Burroway

November 9th, 2013

Shortly after 10:00 p.m. last night Hawaii time, the state House finally approved a marriage equality bill in a 30-19 vote. The final vote capped a twelve-hour session in which the House turned back  sixteen amendments which would have, among other things, further expanded the scope of religious exemptions and delayed in marriage equality by creating a task force to study it. All sixteen amendments were rejected in voice votes.

The Senate had already approved a marriage equality bill in October. This bill will now go back to the Senate for reconsideration due to amendments added by two House committees earlier this week. Senate leaders are leaning toward avoiding further demonstrations by not taking the bill to a conference committee to iron out the differences, and are likely instead hold a concurrence vote next Tuesday.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said in a statement after the House vote:

“I commend the House of Representatives for taking this historic vote to move justice and equality forward,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said in a statement. “After more than 50 hours of public testimony from thousands of testifiers on both sides of the issue, evaluating dozens of amendments, and deliberating procedures through hours of floor debates, the House passed this significant bill, which directly creates a balance between marriage equity for same-sex couples and protects our First Amendment freedoms for religious organizations.”

Once the bill clears the Senate and is signed by Gov. Abercrombie, it will go into effect on December 2.

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Richard Rush
November 9th, 2013 | LINK

“The final vote capped a twelve-hour session in which the House turned back sixteen amendments . . .”

I watched Friday’s proceedings intermittently, and by the time I went to bed they were up to the 29th amendment proposal! So, does that mean at least 13 amendments were approved, or is your number of 16 “turned back” wrong?

Jim Burroway
November 9th, 2013 | LINK

Several news reports gave the number of sixteen. All of the news reports said that none of the amendments were approved. I don’t know the actual number. Maybe the amendments weren’t numbered consecutively?

Dan
November 9th, 2013 | LINK

I watched the last several amendments being voted down, and it looked like a Representative Har offered 29 amendments in all. I literally watched the 29th allegedly “friendly” amendment being voted down. Yet, I’ve read that the number was 16 in several news reports.

My guess is that some source got the number wrong, and much of the news media picked up the error. Har was criticized because several of the amendments she proposed were about the same. I wouldn’t think that would reduce the number of amendments, though.

Sir Andrew
November 10th, 2013 | LINK

I’m actually here. Or there. There were 29 amendments after the initial three that were added the day before and subsequently agreed to by the Senate (unofficially, since the vote isn’t until Tuesday). The superbitch Har, who is not liked by many in our state, saw all 29 of her “friendly amendments” (whatever the hell THAT means) voted down by voice vote.

The bigger entertainment, that occurred after you mainlanders had gone to bed, was the useless speeches given by grandstanding politicians before the vote could be taken. There was some beautiful stuff by a couple of the proponents, but those speeches should have been delivered at another time so the vote could be taken, since everyone already knew the outcome.

The most embarrassing speech came from Jo Jordan, the lesbian who voted against the law. She wept and sobbed as she complained about the things being said to her by members of the community that “once embraced her” (that’s us). She couldn’t understand why we are so upset by her betrayal. Yuck.

We will be state number 16 by the end of next week, more than two decades after we got the ball rolling on the stagnant gay marriage movement.

You’re welcome.

cd
November 10th, 2013 | LINK

The most embarrassing speech came from Jo Jordan, the lesbian who voted against the law. She wept and sobbed as she complained about the things being said to her by members of the community that “once embraced her” (that’s us). She couldn’t understand why we are so upset by her betrayal. Yuck.

Some of the other opponent speeches were so awful, though, on the livestream….

I suspect Jo Jordan is not going to long enjoy the company and graces of her newfound friends now that she’s of no further use to them.

Paul Douglas
November 10th, 2013 | LINK

Have we ever figured out why she voted no? Was she objecting to the overly broad religious exemptions?

Steve
November 10th, 2013 | LINK

LOL. On the contrary. She thought the exemptions weren’t broad enough. She is a stupid theocrat who didn’t even understand what she was voting on.

Part of it may also have been revenge for an intra-party power play she was the victim of.

Jay
November 10th, 2013 | LINK

One of the worst speeches was given by a native Hawaiian woman who was upset that a special session had been called by the Governor to deal with a topic so trivial as equal rights for homosexuals instead of one to give reparations to native Hawaiians. She described homosexuality as an import from the mainland that will destroy traditional Hawaiian culture. The ignorant woman does not even know the history of her own people. The “import” from the mainland that destroyed traditional Hawaiian culture was fundamentalist Chritianity that was foist on the islands by nineteenth-century missionaries. Genuine Hawaiian traditions–i.e., before the Christian conquest–not only accepted homosexuality but accommodated permanent same-sex unions.

Lots of lies and hatred were spewed by the opponents of same-sex marriage in the debate, where thousands of “testifiers” were bussed in by NOM and the Mormons and evangelical churches. But for sheer bigotry, the speech by this stupid woman stands out for me.

Sir Andrew
November 10th, 2013 | LINK

I agree, Jay. I was stunned by her outburst. Most particularly by her reading that overly wrought and clearly false letter from one of her “constituents”. I was also bothered by her hair. That was majorly ugly. But it matched her attitude and arguments, so I guess it balances out.

You may not know this, but it was discovered soon before the leadership cut off testimony that more than half of the antigay written testimony that had been submitted came from the mainland. Then there was a Facebook post from the leader of the opponents that gave instructions on how to slow things down to screw up the legislative process and make sure the final vote would not happen until after Thursday, when they had planned to flood the Capitol with Christians. Those two things finally killed any favor the opponents had with the House leadership.

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