Derailing Hawaii’s Attempt to Pass a Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Posted: November 8, 2013 in homosexuality, politics, Republicans / GOP
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

While the Senate voted to end workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation this week, Hawai’i has been debating allowing same-sex couples to marry. Illinois successfully did so earlier this week, but that’s the next post, not this one. Hawai’i has taken longer perhaps because of religious efforts (as in, efforts by religious groups and efforts with the fervor that one often has for religion).

These efforts have been lead in part by Republican and Hawaii state representative Bob McDermott. JMG has written about his attempts to sue to stop the bill from being passed, or at least to place a restraining order on Gov. Neil Abercrombie to block him from signing the marriage equality bill into law. His argument is based on the 1998 constitutional amdnemnt that gave the Legislature the ability to define marriage. He argues that the intent of that measure was for them to define it as between one man and one woman, and that the voters “knew” what they were voting for. Now that the Legislature is working to re-define it as far as the law is concerned, he’s crying foul. And, I’m happy to report that as of this morning, he failed, for the court rejected his suit. (Here’s JMG’s original post on the lawsuit, and here’s this morning’s update.)

Meanwhile, there’s been another effort by religious folkses who are not legislators. They have been attempting a “Citizen’s [sic] Filibuster” (should be “Citizens’ Filibuster,” but, well, whatever). If you want to read a non-WND version, see The Advocate‘s write-up on it. In an attempt to summarize it quickly, over 5000 religious people tried to use the legislature’s rule that anyone could testify before the Legislature for 2 minutes (30 per hour) in support or opposition to the bill being considered.

While in principle this is laudable, Christians were abusing it. Not only by attempting to get so many people to testify as to make the legislative process be even slower than it already is, but to even violate their own commandments by bearing false witness. Here’s part of an e-mail sent out by the Hawaii Christian Coalition, identical to those sent out by others, such as the New Hope Metro Church:

“So for example, if John Doe has a number but cannot testify because he’s at work, he has Jane Smith show up on his behalf and read his testimony. Jane is NOT REPLACING John’s testimony with her own but is reading his testimony to the group in order to waste time!”

So, to spread God’s Love and let him comeuntoyou, it’s okay to bend the most basic of Biblical law, apparently? Anyway, the goal was to delay through Thursday (yesterday as this is going up … as I said a few posts ago, I’m behind!). Thursday there was a planned anti-equality rally. I haven’t heard if it actually took place or not, but they were unable to delay voting until then.

Meanwhile, the gay writer (as in anti-gay, but writes about gay topics) Bob Unruh has the scoop in what was perhaps proudly headlined, “By Thousands, Hawaiians Excoriate Lawmakers.” Interesting that he makes no mention of churches advocating people come again and again and again (though I suppose some are Catholics … bad joke?).

Bob does make an interesting claim, or at least repeats an interesting claim made by Rep. McDermott: Hawaiians oppose “the redefinition of marriage 96-4.” Considering that in any poll there will always be a set amount of people who just agree or disagree with a decision for kicks, this smacks of made-up numbers. It might have been a bit more realistic if he had said something like 80-20.

Now, as for reality, well, he’s far from it. A simple Google search and I found four polls. Hawaii News Now reported on August 8, 2013, that 54% of Hawaiians support marriage equality, while 31% oppose it. Honolulu Civil Beat reported the same numbers. That’s not 4% and 96%. The Huffington Post reported on October 21, 2013, it was 44% for and 44% against, same as what Civil Beat reported (I’m assuming it’s the latter’s poll, the former just carried the story). And, our ol’ friend Wikipedia reports on data showing that in mid-October 2011, 49% supported it; in January 2013, it was 55% support and 37% oppose, and August 2013, it was 54% support and 31% oppose.

Gee, I wonder where McDermott got his “data” …

The story, posted a few days ago, has garnered a respectable 40 ratings (4.80/5 average) and 111 comments. The comments on this one are particularly apocalyptic and/or vile, more-so than usual on the homosexual-related stories. Questions about marrying gerbils or other beastiality, government being the curse of the people, judgement by God, Communism, etc. Not really worth pulling out individual quotes.

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