Hawaii’s state House Judiciary Committee postpones hearing for same-sex marriage bill

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Amidst the national debate on same-sex marriage, Hawaii’s state House Judiciary Committee postponed the hearing for the legalization of the marriage equality bill. 

According to the Star Advertiser, “there is insufficient support on the panel to advance the measure to the House.”

With 55 percent of Hawaiian residents supporting marriage equality, according to a statewide poll, it seems the numbers came in too late to overturn the decision, even with over 150 marriage equality supporters rallying at the state Capitol on Monday. 

Lawmakers have until Thursday to make the final decision on same-sex marriage. According to the chairman of the House, State Rep. Karl Rhoads, “there was no political will for the legislation.”

“Hawaii has a long history of leadership in equal rights,” Mayor of Honolulu Kirk Caldwell said in a statement. “We have been a leader on rights for the LGBT community, enacting domestic partnerships then civil unions. Now it is time for us to cross the finish line and grant true equal rights with marriage equality.”

Hawaii passed civil unions for gay couples in 2011 and the law took effect in 2012. 

Kirk’s statement continued with his own personal views on the matter: 

I strongly support the constitutional right of every person to practice their own religious beliefs, and we should never infringe on that. No religious organization will be forced to conduct a ceremony that is against their teachings. However, committed LGBT couples also have a right to be treated equally under the law, to have their marriages recognized by the state and have equal rights to hospital visitation, work benefits, and tax equity that heterosexual couples enjoy.

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