Hawaii’s mission toward marriage equality is marching on, but so is the mission to thwart it.
Opposition groups are growing increasingly furious about the Aloha State’s same-sex marriage bill, which is now being considered by the House. On Wednesday, dozens who oppose the bill gathered outside the State Capitol Rotunda, tirelessly chanting, “Let the people vote.” In fact, they were so loud that House representatives were forced to shut the chamber doors so as not to be disturbed.
Once they were literally shut out by the House, protesters migrated to the Capitol steps, where thirty clergy members had united to demonstrate their support for the bill. Officers arrived to supervise, but no action was taken.
On Tuesday, November 5, Hawaii’s House of Representatives passed the bill, SB1, with a vote of 8-5 from the Judiciary Committee, and 10-7 from the Finance Committee. The full House read over the bill again on Wednesday, and will do so again for a third time this Friday, November 8. Should it pass then, the bill will progress to the Senate for a final vote.
The struggle for same-sex marriage in Hawaii has been messy; Representative Chris Lee received a death threat for supporting SB1, and Hawaii’s police union president, Tenari Maafala, told lawmakers, “You would have to kill me [before I would enforce a same-sex marriage law].”