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Oahu Democrats refuse to reprimand Sen. Mike Gabbard

By Derrick DePledge

LAST UPDATED: 02:24 a.m. HST, Aug 11, 2013

Oahu Democrats moved Saturday to temper an intraparty fight over traditional marriage and focus on persuading Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the state Legislature to return in special session to consider marriage equality.

Democrats voted to reject a recommendation from an investigative panel that state Sen. Mike Gabbard be reprimanded for sponsoring a constitutional amendment on traditional marriage last session. After the vote, the gay activist who had filed a complaint against Gabbard alleging that the bill violated the party’s platform on equal rights agreed to withdraw a pending complaint against state Rep. Sharon Har, who had sponsored an identical bill and was facing a potential censure in October.

By dispatching the complaints, Democrats hope to remove an obstacle for a special session on gay marriage. Abercrombie and the state Senate appear open to a special session, but state House leaders have said that the complaints have complicated the discussion.

Oahu Democrats voted Saturday to urge lawmakers to go into special session on gay marriage instead of waiting to address the issue during the next session of the Legislature in January. The U.S. Supreme Court rulings in June that same-sex couples who are legally married are entitled to federal benefits have renewed calls for gay marriage in Hawaii.

Same-sex and heterosexual couples in Hawaii can enter into civil unions and receive the same rights and benefits of marriage under state law, but not federal law.

House and Senate leaders have said they do not have the two-thirds’ support necessary for a special session, leaving the decision up to Abercrombie, who has the power to call lawmakers back. The governor, his aides have said, has been waiting for a signal that the House has the votes for gay marriage.

“I think the main take-away from this is that the Oahu County committee has recommended that the Legislature work as quickly as possible to try to pass marriage equality legislation,” said Josh Wisch, the chairman of the Oahu Democrats.

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false wrote:
Folks over at the legislature, PLEASE, this is not special session stuff. Rail, housing, taxes - yes. This? No, not vital. May I suggest that rather than use this as an excuse for you to get yourself a little extra cash that you vote yourself a pay raise. I have an alterior motive: better pay might attract a higher quality slate of candidates. I also would like to see which one of you has the courage to do this, rahter than do silly meaningless things, like throw out the head of UH because the AD screwed up and was scammed
on August 10,2013 | 05:21PM
localguy wrote:
false - How little you know about how bureaucrats operate. Better pay is never the answer to attract "A higher quality person." For example, US Military pay pales against what the corporate world offers yet look at the very high quality of people it attracts. Why? Majority do it for giving back to the country, pride in the military and themselves. Being a bureaucrat was never meant to be a career to bilk the taxpayers. Bureaucrats would serve a few years then go back to their real jobs, constantly bringing in fresh blood. Sad to say majority of bureaucrats can't make it in the real world and leach off taxpayers for their entire career. 8-year terms for everyone would work with Roth 401k plans. No more long term pensions or bennies to waste tax payer money. Its your money, are you really satisfied how they are spending it? I doubt it.
on August 10,2013 | 05:59PM
MexMe wrote:
localguy, I would vote for YOU!!
on August 10,2013 | 08:59PM
Mypualani wrote:
local guy you got my vote too.
on September 6,2013 | 02:55AM
jakwa wrote:
on August 10,2013 | 06:30PM
poipoo wrote:
I second that.
on August 10,2013 | 09:33PM
Anonymous wrote:
Seriously this whole thing has been ridiculous. What a waste of time.
on August 11,2013 | 03:53AM
kapoleitalkstory wrote:
Today in the Democratic Party of Hawaii saw a new low. The Oahu County chose to ignore the violation to the Party Platform as reported by the Investigative Report. The Report pared the complaint from 11 legislators to 2: Har and Gabbard. In one swell swoop, Hawaii went from a Blue State to a Red State. There is very little difference from Mississippi or Hawaii. In both states the legislators disregard the civil rights of the people and they put church people above all else, they put the bible above the Constitution. Welcome to the Red State of Hawaii.
on August 10,2013 | 06:43PM
Anonymous wrote:
Comparing the status of marriage equality in Hawii to that of Mississippi is not only not helpful in passing the bill, it's also a ridiculous assertion.
on August 10,2013 | 06:59PM
EwaWarrior wrote:
No, the democrats for once refused to know-tow to a heterophobe gay activist.
on August 11,2013 | 02:15AM
Anonymous wrote:
Wow what a ridiculous assertion. Hawaii = Mississippi? That's quite the stretch.
on August 11,2013 | 03:52AM
pauliboy wrote:
Don't reprimand him, kick him out of the party. Senator Gabbard is the poster child for discrimination toward LGBT rights for over 20 years. Just because he became a Democrat a few years ago didn't affect his views toward homosexuality. It just made him get elected easier. That's why democrats are now are at this juncture. He's calculating and slowly reemerging his anti-gay agenda. Don't be fooled, he's extremely narrow-minded and ultra-conservative toward this very important issue.
on August 10,2013 | 06:44PM
Rickyboy wrote:
Democratic Party is this the best you do?.
on August 10,2013 | 08:09PM
Shotzy wrote:
Of all the stupidest reasons to call a special session.Do NOT waste taxpayer money on this fooolishness. For heavens sake this should be left to the voters. If the majority vote it to be law , than so be it. Not a bunch of no listening congressman or women.
on August 10,2013 | 08:38PM
poipoo wrote:
Pretty much agree with you. It's not like the issue is a matter of life and death -or even taxes.
on August 10,2013 | 09:39PM
Mypualani wrote:
I don't know where you been this pass year, but the supreme court sot down prop 8 in California, you know where the voters voted to stop gay marriages. So yeah that point you made is moot. About letting the voters decide.
on September 6,2013 | 02:59AM
hikine wrote:
When Abercrombie signed the Civil Union bill it was just a stepping stone to having gay marriages. People shouldn't be surprised at what's going on as Gabbard has always been anti-gay. If other States can pass a bill, why not Hawaii?
on August 10,2013 | 10:48PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
The big joke is that if they go after Gabbard they also need to go after Shatz. I'm not a member of the gay caucus but I'm willing to bet what was discussed over a cigarette down stairs...
on August 10,2013 | 11:36PM
bully106 wrote:
har and gabbard represent a large constituency who oppose gay marriage. while the LGBT has nationwide made unbelievable headway recently, they can't get too aggressive and too hungry or people will simply discount them. goloyuck is already not a likeable guy.
on August 11,2013 | 12:45AM
Loki wrote:
Is this a joke?
on August 11,2013 | 04:29AM
number4 wrote:
1. Same-sex marriage is not an issue of sexual orientation. It is an issue of gender. You do not have to be gay to marry someone of the same sex. 2. I do not think Abercrombie should call a special session of the Legislature because nobody is breaking down his office door to call a special session. This might be an important issue, but it's not an emergency.
on September 9,2013 | 06:07PM
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