HONOLULU, HAWAII – God’s Army came out in force January 17 at the State Capitol in opposition to the civil union bill, HB 444. More than 10,000 people, most of them dressed in white, staged a respectful and civil demonstration against the measure which would allow same sex couples the same benefits as traditionally married couples.

The show of unity was the first salvo fired for the new year in the ongoing battle to persuade lawmakers to not pass the controversial bill. Some legislators who oppose HB 444 were at the rally as well as Lt. Governor James “Duke” Aiona and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann. The two possible gubernatorial candidates voiced their strong in favor of keeping marriage a union between a man and woman only. Their short speeches brought rousing cheers from the crowd.

Hawaii Family Forum sponsored the well organized rally that featured several voter registration tables, additional speakers from the religious community as well as musical groups that sang songs of praise. The estibmated 10,000+ people in attendance eclipsed the large crowd that came to last year’s rally.

“HB 444 rally overview of crowd centered”

Yesterday’s successful rally needs to be followed up with attendance en masse at the opening day of the State Legislature, particulary in the State Senate chambers on January 20 (this coming Wednesday). Opponents should continue to call, fax, email, write and visit their legislators to tell them that traditional marriage values need to be upheld and that HB 444 needs to be defeated. Do not accept any “amendments” that some lawmakers want to add to the bill.

The best thing that opponents to HB 444 can do is to be in attendance at the State Senate chambers on opening day as well as subsequent days following the start of the session. No one knows exactly when the Democrat majority will want to take up a motion to vote on the bill. It can happen on any day.

The Democrats usually like to vote on controversial measures of this type when the public is not in attendance for the floor vote and when the TV cameras are not rolling. They are ace for making secret, closed door deals and then come out when no one is looking to take the vote. Don’t let that happen. Be there everyday until the bill comes to a vote and is hopefully defeated. Let the supporting legislators of HB 444 know that “iVote, you vote, wa all vote” and that you’ll remember them in November.

‘Mel Ah Ching of Honolulu, Hawaii, wrote this guest editorial. He has more photos on his blog: http://macprohawaii.blogspot.com/2010/01/thousands-rally-against-hb-444.html/’

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