House Minority Research Figures Show In-Person Testimony on Same Sex Marriage Bill in Overwhelming Opposition

People have stood on line for hours to testify on the gay marriage bill. Hearings continue today at the state capitol. (photo by Mel Ah Ching)
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People have stood on line for hours to testify on the gay marriage bill. Hearings continue today at the state capitol. (photo by Mel Ah Ching)

HONOLULU – The House Judiciary and Finance committees will hear public testimony for a fifth day Tuesday, November 5, beginning at 10:30 a.m. in what representatives are calling an “unprecedented” hearing.

Some 5,000 people have registered in the House to testify on Senate bill 1, which would legalize gay marriage in Hawaii. The Senate already passed one version of the bill.


Democrats in the House said the testimony has been evenly split among those for and against the legalization of gay marriage.

However, Rep. Bob McDermott, a Republican opposed to gay marriage legalization, said in-person opposition to the bill has been overwhelming.

The House Minority research staff reports that on Thursday, just 18 percent supported the bill, and 82 percent were in opposition.

On Friday, 20 percent were in support, and 80 percent in opposition.

On Saturday, 10 percent supported gay marriage legalization and 90 percent were opposed.

Yesterday, 9 percent supported the bill, and 91 percent were opposed.

While there have also been thousands of pieces of mailed-in testimony, McDermott said much of it is what he called “fake” form letters sent from outside the state.

“The one form of testimony that cannot be faked is real people, taking the time from their families, to come down to the capitol and wait for hours to give personal, heartfelt testimony,” McDermott said. “These are real people, citizens of Hawaii and voters, and they are still coming to the Capitol by the hundreds.”
Back on the Senate side of the capitol, Senators have confirmed about 20 of the governor’s nominees for boards and commissions.

Two of the governor’s nominees withdrew from the process after they were targeted by environmentalists groups including Genevieve Salmonson, the governor’s nominee for Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control, and attorney Sean Smith whose appointment was also squashed by Senator Laura Thielen.

Attorney Lloyd Poelman was confirmed as a district judge on Maui.

Yesterday, Senators also passed three additional bills dealing with funding for two collective bargaining agreements and funding for the Kauai public hospital.

House Bill 1 compensates United Public Worker unit 10 through a $15 million appropriation. That is the unit that refused to take part in the 5 percent reduction in spending between 2011 and 2013.

House Bill 2 funds United Public Worker unit 3 with a $69 million allocation, which will give the members a back raise from January 1 of this year and fund their salaries and benefits for the next four years.

Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom was the only vote in opposition to both funding packages. He said while other people in the community continue to struggle financially, the state continues to give public unions both pay increases and bonuses.

The final bill Senators approved yesterday was House Bill 3, which gives a $7.5 million dollar emergency appropriation to the Kauai public hospital. Even with the appropriation, the hospital is $8 million short.

The entire public hospital system costs taxpayers $200 million a year for six facilities.

All attempts to privatize the hospital system or work with a private partner have been shut down by union members and lawmakers who are backed by the unions.

The system asked for a $13 million emergency appropriation during the 2013 regular session and will come back again during the 2014 regular session to ask for another $25 million.

Around 70 percent of the funding goes to salary and benefits.





  1. Hmm, "form letters" of opposition are not accepted? So all of the organizations including but not limited to the so called "Christian" groups and churches giving their followers ALL of their talking points, bussing in their congregation with those talking points, submitting multiple and testifying multiple times — and doing so knowing that they will receive, NO backlash, NO reviling, NO verbal or physical abuse, will NOT loose their jobs, will NOT loose their chairmanships, will NOT loose their memberships, but instead applauded and lauded for trying to impose THEIR interpretation of God upon MY interpretation God. This is a level of "fakeness" beyond compare Mr. McDermott! Because someone cannot express themselves clearly and concisely and "choose" to fill in the blanks of a form letter or sign their name to a letter with "talking points" they identify with, should not warrant a dismissal on your part. If what YOU want to hear from the side you WANT to hear from can be spoon fed their bigoted drivel, then those in support of equal rights most certainly can sign their name to form letter expressing their agreement with the letters content!

    • They are defending the congregation….much like how the opponents & supporters of GMO in Kauai did.
      This is called demacracy Sonny, if you insinuate they are "dumb" & complain the LGBTs can't do it, is drivel from you.
      BTW. You should have complained to Democrat Bill Clinton (Hillary's husband) when he signed DOMA in 96, & brought federal involvement into "your business" And B.Obama only stated he will not defend it, but it still lives.
      Now that he did, homosexual marriage infringes on the most important amendment, the FIRST Amendment, and the governors blatant circumvention of the democratic process. The Hawaii State voters have already decided to define what marriage properly is. Therefore, if a change is to be made to the law, the only proper process is to follow the same procedure by which the law was enacted in the first place. BY POPULAR VOTE. Otherwise any popular vote on any issue found on a ballot is completely meaningless. If 77 legislatures can subsequently change it, it defeats the purpose of voting.
      So it's a political issue, not a religious issue
      Last, your mispell of lose reveals your level of bigotry.that is accepted at HNN's website.

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