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State Senate passes gay marriage bill, sending it to the House

By Star-Advertiser

& Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:31 a.m. HST, Oct 31, 2013


The state Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to approve a gay marriage bill, shifting the focus of the debate to the state House, where the vote could be closer. The Senate vote was 20 to 4.

Sen. Clayton Hee, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee, framed the vote in the historical context of interracial marriage and Hawaii's decision to legalize abortion.

"This is a defining moment in all of our careers and we should embrace it," Hee told his colleagues.

Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom, the lone Republican in the Senate, said there was no urgency to hold a special session on gay marriage. He said the issue does not compare to previous special sessions on the Hawaii Superferry or the response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Slom, who believes the public should decide the issue through a constitutional amendment, said the vote is not historic. "Hysteric it may be," he said.

If the House amends the bill, as it likely, it would have to come back before the Senate for review before moving to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his signature.

A joint House committee hearing scheduled for Thursday was expected to keep lawmakers working while trick-or-treaters celebrate Halloween.

House Majority Leader Scott Saiki says it's likely the chamber will amend the bill to change religious exemptions. The Senate bill currently exempts ministers and other clergy from having to perform gay wedding ceremonies, but not for-profit businesses.

"The House committees recognize that there is still a lot of public concern about the scope of the exemptions," Saiki said.

The Halloween joint hearing between the House judiciary and finance committees is expected to last until midnight, then carry over to Friday if there are still people wanting to testify.

Because of the high public interest, the committees waived a 24-hour deadline on submitting testimony, promising to accept testimony before and during the hearing.

A Senate committee hearing on Monday packed a rotating crowd through a 200-seat basement auditorium, with speakers getting as much as two minutes each to make their case. Even more people watched the hearings unfold on monitors in the Capitol rotunda, and the hearing was carried live on public access television and the websites of TV news outlets.

------

For the Senate same-sex marriage vote breakdown, check out the Star-Advertiser's "Political Radar" blog at http://bit.ly/16n6bSV.







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frontman wrote:
Let the people VOTE........................if this is forced on Hawaii, vote all that voted for this out of office. The lock step democrat control has to end, vote for people that represent you and not sheep that follow obama.
on October 30,2013 | 12:11PM
Fred01 wrote:
Just shut your ignorant hole already dingbat.
on October 30,2013 | 12:59PM
boshio wrote:
Fred01, don't hate yourself so much. frontman is just venting like everyone else is, no harm, no faul. Have a nice day.
on October 30,2013 | 01:09PM
Fred01 wrote:
Frontman must be worried that the government will force him to marry his boyfriend.
on October 30,2013 | 01:45PM
aomohoa wrote:
Boy is this starting out nasty today. Let;s grow up kids.
on October 30,2013 | 02:45PM
808BigE wrote:
faul?
on October 30,2013 | 03:21PM
false wrote:
Yeah like in fail ball. Haven't you been to a baseball game? LOL
on October 30,2013 | 04:08PM
aomohoa wrote:
That's foul. LOL
on October 30,2013 | 04:32PM
frontman wrote:
If this passes.................you might as well let brothers and sisters marry, fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, man or woman and animals. What is the difference????
on October 30,2013 | 05:09PM
postmanx wrote:
The difference is consenting adults, with the exception of brothers and sisters who don't fall in love like that anyway.
on October 30,2013 | 08:18PM
frontman wrote:
If love is all that matters................how can you deny any two in love from getting married??????
on October 30,2013 | 08:30PM
puamamane wrote:
That's what people said about man and man 40 years ago, "they don't fall in love", and look where we are today. Where does it end?
on October 31,2013 | 02:26AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
The person has a right to express him/her self. No need to throw the hate at the hater. Chill out this one is going to be OK, the law will pass, the Governor will sign it, and a year from now and the predictions of doom and gloom will be proven false. Aloha.
on October 30,2013 | 01:44PM
aomohoa wrote:
You are so right. Everyone will move on to something else to get upset about.
on October 30,2013 | 02:46PM
IAmSane wrote:
Yeah, not sure what everyone's getting so worked up about. What you described is the most likely scenario and nothing anyone says or do is likely going to change that. The doom and gloom folks said the same things when the whole same-sex civil union vote was going on. Civil union being legalized had approximately 0% apparent impact on my life as a heterosexual male. I'd wager that the outcome will be similar with same-sex marriage being legalized.
on October 30,2013 | 04:29PM
aomohoa wrote:
Maybe they are all afraid that the gays will thy make them gay. LOL I wonder if people got this upset when it interracial marriage was said to be OK?
on October 30,2013 | 04:34PM
localguy wrote:
IAmSane - Well said. The sky is not falling.
on October 30,2013 | 07:36PM
Mana07 wrote:
Hey Fred..how's that Obamacare working for you and your partner?
on October 30,2013 | 02:38PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Fred01do you not know that this is a free country? So just shut your ignorant hole already dingbat.
on October 31,2013 | 12:38AM
beachbum11 wrote:
This should be removed for that remark. You also should be barred from posting. If they don't remove this I will write a letter of protest to Mr. Black
on October 31,2013 | 05:44AM
IAmSane wrote:
The majority would not care that the the civil rights of the minority are being trampled on. It'd be like asking slave owners to vote on whether to ban slavery or not. I say no to "vote."
on October 30,2013 | 01:14PM
lwandcah wrote:
Apples and oranges. This absolutely cannot be compared to what the American slaves went through. Not even remotely, and it is a slap in the face to all those that did go through it.
on October 30,2013 | 01:40PM
peum wrote:
Yes it totally can, as well as women's right to vote. This is a historic moment for Hawaii and it makes me proud to say I'm from here.
on October 30,2013 | 02:16PM
IAmSane wrote:
Maybe that was a poor analogy now that I think about it after posting. I think I was going for the "the slave owners would not care if the slaves didn't have the freedom of right to work because they themselves are not slaves." The point of my first sentence stands, however.
on October 30,2013 | 02:33PM
aomohoa wrote:
And you personally lived through it?
on October 30,2013 | 02:47PM
Eradication wrote:
What about interracial marriages? It took a Supreme Court decision to decide that people of different ethnicities could marry each other. The last state to abolish that discriminating practice did so in 2000. Apples & Apples?
on October 30,2013 | 04:37PM
kolohepalu wrote:
Apparently it went over your head- the comparison is to the principle of institutionalized discrimination, not "what the slaves went through."
on October 30,2013 | 07:40PM
lwandcah wrote:
Apples and oranges. There is absolutely no comparrison between this issue and what the African American slaves went through. To attempt to draw lines of similarity between the two is a slap in the face to those who did go through it.
on October 30,2013 | 01:47PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
I went through it, and no, it isn't.
on October 30,2013 | 02:28PM
aomohoa wrote:
You must be really old. LOL
on October 30,2013 | 02:48PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Not THAT old. I was referring to the struggle for equal rights in the 60's and 70's. Perhaps I should have been more clear.
on October 30,2013 | 03:24PM
aomohoa wrote:
I guess I was around then too. LOL
on October 30,2013 | 04:36PM
localguy wrote:
Do you think? heheheh Nice one.
on October 30,2013 | 07:38PM
DRH wrote:
Only African American slaves? What about the rest of us? I doubt that there is a person in the world who didn't have an ancestor who was a slave. Start with tracing the origin of the word "slave."
on October 30,2013 | 06:50PM
kolohepalu wrote:
Uh, how about drawing comparisons to ASPECTS of their experiences? Oversimplification is the refuge of the intellectually lazy- the republican M.O.
on October 30,2013 | 07:43PM
kolohepalu wrote:
Exactly right.
on October 30,2013 | 07:34PM
wxyz wrote:
So the majority does not have a say in the society in which they live? That the minority gets full privileges for a "behavior" outside the norm? Will you accept the option of polygamist marriages, Incestuous marriages, and whatever personal preferences to come next? Is that the society in which you want to live? Just do whatever you feel you want?
on November 1,2013 | 11:35PM
kolohepalu wrote:
Hawaii is a blue state. Move.
on October 30,2013 | 07:33PM
localguy wrote:
frontman - People didn't vote to end slavery, discrimination in the work place, and women's right to vote or drive. People can be like lemmings, going over the cliff as they think this is the right decision.
on October 30,2013 | 07:35PM
bpet wrote:
One step closer to doing what is right . . .
on October 30,2013 | 01:43PM
Kuokoa wrote:
LET THS PEOPLE VOTE!
on October 30,2013 | 01:45PM
false wrote:
They did, About two years ago.
on October 30,2013 | 04:10PM
Eradication wrote:
Checkmate!!!
on October 30,2013 | 04:38PM
kiragirl wrote:
"This is a defining moment in all of our careers and we should embrace it," Hee told his colleagues. BS!
on October 30,2013 | 01:49PM
Skyler wrote:
Hee probably does embrace it...
on October 30,2013 | 03:28PM
tutulois wrote:
Progress for civil rights here. If civil rights were left up to voters, any mixed race marriage could still be illegal in the southern states -- regarded as "unnatural," and "against God's law."
on October 30,2013 | 01:54PM
JAFO wrote:
This is the southern most state!
on October 30,2013 | 02:43PM
Eradication wrote:
Then to be specific, 20 states banned (outlawed) interracial marriages until the Supreme Court ruled against those laws (Loving v. Virginia). The last state to abide by that ruling did so in 2000.
on October 30,2013 | 04:42PM
localguy wrote:
"against God's law"? There is no God so there can't be a "God's Law."
on October 30,2013 | 07:39PM
Holomua wrote:
Get the disaster kits ready.
on October 30,2013 | 02:06PM
Eradication wrote:
Typical mumbo-jumbo. "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!"
on October 30,2013 | 04:43PM
blackmurano wrote:
The Democratic State Senators disregarding, again, the will of the people on their vote to legitimiize homosexual marriage may have been done to appease Barack "Hussien" Obama, the anti-Christian President who started the ball rolling on redefining marriage in America. Pressure may have come from the island congressional far-left liberals also. As an Evangelical born again Christian I am not surprised nor disappointed. These liberal State Senators were warn about changing marriage what God has put together as His Covenant of marriage of one man and one woman. They listen to men instead of God's warning. God will have the last Word on Judgment Day for all unrepented sinners as well as these State Senators who think God approved what they call "Equality in Marriage." It's not over for them. At this Judgment, all will be cast into the "Lake of Fire" with the devil and his demons forever and ever.
on October 30,2013 | 02:06PM
peum wrote:
As an "anti-christian", I say march on!
on October 30,2013 | 02:19PM
frontman wrote:
Obama is a muslim, his actions prove it.
on October 30,2013 | 03:00PM
Fred01 wrote:
And you are obviously an American-hating terrorist.
on October 30,2013 | 03:22PM
aomohoa wrote:
I didn't for him, but that was a stupid comment.
on October 30,2013 | 04:37PM
Eradication wrote:
And you are a traitor, your words prove it.
on October 30,2013 | 04:44PM
DRH wrote:
My dictionary says that a traitor is one who betrays his country, a cause, or a trust. If he is betraying same sex marriage, then I guess that he is a traitor.
on October 30,2013 | 07:37PM
Fred01 wrote:
There is a special place in hell reserved for those who practice hate in the name of God. Blackmurano will burn for eternity!
on October 30,2013 | 02:56PM
Eradication wrote:
No he won't. He'll just fade away into a sad state of insignificance like most of the haters. Hate is hate.
on October 30,2013 | 04:46PM
false wrote:
And you know this as fact? I suppose you are perfect? Don't throw the first stone if you're not. I think you know what I mean.
on October 30,2013 | 04:12PM
aomohoa wrote:
Actually I think that is the one thing a really believe in the Bible. None of us are perfect.
on October 30,2013 | 04:38PM
DRH wrote:
In biblical times, the wife and children were the property of the husband. The bible allows a father to kill a disobedient child and admonishes a wife to “honor and obey her husband.” Marriage was between one man and four women – if that man were wealthy enough to buy that many wives. Marriage was a civil contract transferring the ownership of a piece of property, a young woman, from one man, her father, to another, her husband – and the bible lays out the proper procedure for selling your daughters. How many goats is your daughter worth? This is what God put together. If you don't believe in polygamy be careful - the sky may open and a thunderbolt descend, destroying you - or you may have to wait until judgment day to be sent to hell.
on October 30,2013 | 07:07PM
copperwire9 wrote:
Correct. Setting aside David and Jonathan for a moment (referenced in a different post a few minutes ago), there were the...*how many* wives did David have? And his number of concubines was...Check your bible.
on October 30,2013 | 07:40PM
copperwire9 wrote:
You haven't explained David and Jonathan in the old testament. Remember that "David loved Jonathan better than a wife"?
on October 30,2013 | 07:38PM
pakeheat wrote:
what kind of love are you referring too? Physical or Spiritual?
on October 30,2013 | 07:50PM
kolohepalu wrote:
That's the point- the bible is a collection of fables open to broad interpretation. People who cling to it as a moral compass are deluding themselves. God wants us to be nice to each other- even gay people.
on October 30,2013 | 08:08PM
localguy wrote:
blackmurano - Sad to say this clueless bible thumper just doesn't get it. There is no God so nothing they say will happen. Never has, never will. Somehow they just can't learn the lessons of history, only what their very narrow view can accept. This isn't much.
on October 30,2013 | 07:41PM
kolohepalu wrote:
Mmhmm. Noah gonna come in his ark and save you from all the evil gays and muslims? Go read more fairy tales. Better yet, do it on the mainland.
on October 30,2013 | 07:46PM
Rickyboy wrote:
Hee Hee Hee get it.
on October 30,2013 | 02:30PM
Venus1 wrote:
I hope this passes and we can spend time on jobs and education!!!
on October 30,2013 | 02:35PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Either way, spend the time on jobs and education.
on October 30,2013 | 03:02PM
Eradication wrote:
Funny how most of you are posting while sitting at your desk...on the clock...while your boss thinks you're being productive.
on October 30,2013 | 04:48PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
No, most of these posters are retired Medicare types.
on October 30,2013 | 05:02PM
hawaiikone wrote:
Got those parks cleaned yet?
on October 30,2013 | 05:13PM
MariaBetty wrote:
Sad, diversity has now divided us.
on October 30,2013 | 02:53PM
thanks4reading wrote:
we did not let the south vote on interracial marriage. Marriage is a fundamental right and not subject to the majority acting as a tyranny against the minority. Finally, it would not be 'letting the people vote". Millions would be spent by right wing mainland groups. I could do without the circus.
on October 30,2013 | 03:40PM
islandinthesun wrote:
Yay for the gays!! I am not (which shouldn't even matter) but, I do have several family members who have a significant partner and I support their relationship. Love, love, love...
on October 30,2013 | 03:40PM
Eradication wrote:
Yay for the gays? How about yay for everyone? This isn't about gays. It is about equality for all citizens. It isn't even about religion, inspite of what many think and say. Marriage equality not same-sex or gay marriages. Marriage equality is all people want. Don't make it bigger than it should be. Gay people just want to be considered equal under the law, not special under the law. Only the haters want to make gay people special. Think about it.
on October 30,2013 | 04:54PM
islandinthesun wrote:
Oh...my mistake...I must've read wrong.....I thought this was for a GAY MARRIAGE BILL....
on October 31,2013 | 10:20AM
noshortcuts wrote:
I want to marry my dog! Can we have another special session! Please!!!
on October 30,2013 | 04:39PM
Fred01 wrote:
Ignorant.
on October 30,2013 | 04:55PM
Makapuu4 wrote:
nobrains - I doubt if your dog would be interested.
on October 30,2013 | 05:45PM
postmanx wrote:
Then go marry your dog, nobody cares! Have fun and be happy!
on October 30,2013 | 08:31PM
frontman wrote:
If this passes.................you might as well let brothers and sisters marry, fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, man or woman and animals. What is the difference????
on October 30,2013 | 05:09PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
If you don't know already, I doubt explaining it to you yet again will make any difference.
on October 30,2013 | 05:43PM
frontman wrote:
If love is all that matters................how can you deny any two in love from getting married??????
on October 30,2013 | 08:31PM
Makapuu4 wrote:
OK. Sure.
on October 30,2013 | 05:45PM
tigerwarrior wrote:
I should start off by saying that I am a God fearing, Bible reading individual, who understands how God views homosexual practices--practices which the Bible condemns and legalizing same-sex unions may lead to moral decay--of course referring to the decay in morality spoken of in Holy Scripture. That being said--I also believe the only thing left to debate on this issue is clarity on religious exemptions in relation to public accommodations--if there really is such a thing as separation of Church and State. The Senate version of the bill clearly states that churches will not be exempt if they continue to make their religious facilities available to the general public for weddings for a profit--which is discriminatory according to the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission. I don't see why church clergy can't simply perform marriages for their own members and flock--unless of course they are overly concerned about losing business--as in money for marriage services performed for non-members. And the thing is, a growing number of people are choosing non-denominational, non-religious officiants to perform their marriage ceremonies--just so long as these officiants are ordained. Ordained, by the way, isn't what it used to be--as in 3 years of Seminary school training, certification and an undergraduate degree. Nowadays one doesn't have to be a clergyman to be an officiant. Just my 2 cents.
on October 30,2013 | 05:43PM
tigerwarrior wrote:
I thought I should clarify my point about churches being considered discriminatory if they perform marriage ceremonies for the general public for a profit--yet exclude same-sex unions. To solve this problem churches must simply perform such services for members of their own flock as I mentioned previously.
on October 30,2013 | 05:51PM
8082062424 wrote:
just what does the word member legally mean. i do not no of any church that ask you to sign a member ship. it a open door policy. i also no of pastors who marry folks out side of the church . when i go to church with the family i go to one church. when i go alone or with friends it another. so either i am not a member of any church or im a member of two churches
on October 30,2013 | 06:28PM
Jca43 wrote:
You're right, this is where the loop hole is, the definition of a member. Inherently all churches deal with nonmembers. The issue comes up for example of what would happen if a church should marry a member husband and a nonmember wife, is the church then open to law suit for then turning down nonmember same sex married couples. The former draft by Governor Abercrombie on these matters regarding public accommodation was just terrible, I suspect blatantly so. SB-1 is much better, but hasn't solved the dilemma of a for profit church and a nonprofit church. It is still open season for lawsuits to churches as most churches which facilitate weddings would charge a facility charge, pastoral fee, or even music charges. I can't think of a 100 percent free wedding. I think SB-1 is focused on churches that advertise and sell weddings like a Vegas chapel, but the wording is still very nonspecific. SB-1 also leaves all businesses unprotected. A business owner should not be forced to runs business against their religious moral beliefs or conscience. Really comes down to protection of religious freedoms and businesses. Cramming and forcing a law upon a divided public in a hastily manner without considering and weighing and ensuring adequate protection for all parties will create more harm than good for everyone.
on October 30,2013 | 10:37PM
localguy wrote:
We should level the playing field by having churches pay taxes like everyone else. Way too many churches are over stepping their bounds, backing political bureaucrats, profit making businesses, on and on. Want to get involved, pay your "Fair Share" of taxes.
on October 30,2013 | 07:48PM
kolohepalu wrote:
Exactly right- a lot of so called churches are basically right-wing love-ins.
on October 30,2013 | 08:11PM
Jca43 wrote:
A lot of nonprofits, religious and no religious have agendas. It's not just religious. Don't forget, many religions also support same sex marriage, they too are nonprofit. Your generalization that all churches should be made to pay taxes would apply to all nonprofit religions that are for and against same sex marriage.
on October 30,2013 | 10:40PM
Oahuan wrote:
Man that bill got railroad through the Senate Chamber so fast .......amazing.
on October 30,2013 | 05:57PM
copperwire9 wrote:
Nope.
on October 30,2013 | 07:43PM
Jca43 wrote:
These senators have essentially made up their minds way ahead of time.
on October 30,2013 | 10:41PM
gary360 wrote:
All looking for votes in the next election.
on October 30,2013 | 06:12PM
can wrote:
kakaroaches
on October 30,2013 | 07:05PM
7yearTribulation wrote:
BOOK OF JUDE 7 And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.
on October 30,2013 | 07:31PM
Makapuu4 wrote:
7yearTribulation - You and blackmumbojumbo need to hook up.
on October 30,2013 | 07:33PM
kolohepalu wrote:
Haha- exactly. Boogie boogie- Satan gonna get you!
on October 30,2013 | 08:13PM
usahwn wrote:
Time for real soul searching. I'm for traditional marriage but also sympathize for those committed to each other that should receive equal benefits. This issue should have and must have been already realized when marriage of same sex was recognized. Done deal ; why make such an issue on other people's personal choices?
on October 30,2013 | 07:41PM
Jca43 wrote:
Usahwn, Same sex marriage has gathered increasing support over the last decade. The public is divided. Honestly, I should say half the public doesn't really care. But for the other half who do care, there is a division. Choose where you stand but also believe in democracy. For better or worse the choice of the people is what matters. The problem is legislature choosing to make a decision rather than turning it over to the people. In a matter that is so heavily contested and quite heated and opinionated we can only assume or legislators have preconceived ideas and notions already. In fact many have made their decisions not upon the census and voice of their districts they represent. Many have not taken the time to gather accurate data among their districts whether it be for or against. The matter is worthy of a public vote just as it was in 1998. No matter the winner, a public democratic vote will be both vindicating and final.
on October 30,2013 | 10:52PM
kennysmith wrote:
i just wonder if wasturned back on to you all, what if you didn't have any rights what would you do then?
on October 30,2013 | 09:06PM
GrLan21 wrote:
Just shows you that the State Senate does NOT listen to the people. The testimony in the Senate Judiciary Committee was 60% Against to 40% for. They don't represent the citizenry. Oh the arrogance on their part!!!
on October 30,2013 | 09:27PM
Jca43 wrote:
Which is why the vote by the people in this matter is extremely important.
on October 30,2013 | 10:53PM
anthokie wrote:
This special session vote is disappointed. The 1998 traditional marriage ballots voted by the people of Hawaii was dump to the trash-can easily, waste money from tax-payer. Don't respect the vote, don't print in the ballot in the election day. This special session is unnecessary to testimonies and signs waving, waste time and energy, the decision is not represents the people of Hawaii
on October 30,2013 | 10:55PM
RNC404 wrote:
Courage is standing for your RIGHTS when they are perceived as none. Fighting for your beliefs is the foundation of all humanity regardless of issue. Kudos to equality and justice and may it persevere! Heed to those that are struggling with change, and pray to God that your offsprings are not what you so despise. My son is gay and wants a happy life that will be financially secured just like his parents. Am I to wish him less happiness? I'm proud of you son!!
on October 30,2013 | 11:52PM
Mypualani wrote:
RNC404, Mahalo for your post,
on October 31,2013 | 02:01AM
BRock wrote:
The ignorant people calling for a popular vote need to realize that that is not the way business in the legislature is done. Why elect legislatures if we cannot trust that they will do their jobs?
on October 31,2013 | 02:04AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
You can keep telling them, but it's not going to matter.
on October 31,2013 | 05:05AM
Taimalie12 wrote:
Republicans are always complaining about "too much government" but they are the ones infringing on people's personal lives! Same Sex Marriage Bill, check! Next, legalize pakalolo!
on October 31,2013 | 05:34AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Next is a relationship with Fido? Wrong!
on October 31,2013 | 06:28AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Just do not use the word God and Same Gender Relationship in the same sentence. God doesn't want it. Mankind wants it.
on October 31,2013 | 06:31AM
mikethenovice wrote:
We would have better off we God didn't have humans on this planet.
on October 31,2013 | 06:31AM
beachbum11 wrote:
My first post got removed. So will my subscription be gone today. Thank you SA for saving me money. Keep your newspaper
on October 31,2013 | 06:32AM
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