Opponents of Same Sex Marriage Overwhelm the Capitol, but Bill Easily Passes Senate Judiciary Committee

Thousands of people turned out to rally against Senate Bill 1, which would legalize gay marriage. The rally was held October 28, 2013, on the opening day of the special session. The Senate passed the bill Wednesday and today, the House continues to hear testimony on the measure (photo by Mike Palcic)
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Thousands of people turned out to rally against Senate Bill 1, which would legalize gay marriage. The rally was held October 28, 2013, on the opening day of the special session (photo by Mike Palcic)

As many as 12,000 people on three islands turned out Monday, October 28, at a 5-hour rally to protest Senate Bill 1, a bill that would legalize same sex marriage in Hawaii.

Coordinated by Christian churches and family advocacy groups, the rallies were timed with the opening day of the special legislative session called by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to pass a same sex marriage bill before the end of the year.


“We estimate that 10,000 people were at the capitol yesterday to oppose Senate action,” said Jim Hochberg, president of Hawaii Family Advocates, noting rallies were also held on Maui and the Big Island, in Hilo and Kona.  “That means that potentially 10,000 to 12,000 residents of Hawaii took time out of their busy schedules to show the legislature that they understand that marriage should remain between one man and one woman.”

The massive crowd chanted and waved signs that said “Let the people decide,” demanding legislators allow a public vote on the issue, and a number of religious and political leaders spoke at the event held in the capitol rotunda.

Leading up to the opening of what could be a two week special session, opponents and proponents of the bill submitted thousands of pieces of testimony in – more than 3,459 in the last few days – shutting down the email and fax lines at the capitol.

Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee listens to testimony from supporters and opponents of gay marriage on October 28, 2013 before passing the bill out of committee to the full senate by a vote of 5-2 (photo by Mel Ah Ching)

The early testimony count was running about 40 percent in support of legalization, and 60 percent in opposition, according to Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee Chair Clayton Hee.

Hee oversaw the only committee hearing in the state Senate on Monday, which lasted 12 hours, before his committee voted 5-2 to pass the bill out to the full Senate for a vote of the entire body on Thursday.

Gov. Abercrombie, Attorney General David Loui, and wife of U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, Linda Schatz, testified in favor of SB 1, while more than 400 others testified on both sides of the issue.

Senators Brickwood Galuteria, Malama Solomon and Les Ihara joined Chair Hee and his co-chair Maile Shimabukuro, to support the same sex marriage, while Senators Mike Gabbard and Sam Slom voted in opposition.

The bill will go before the full Senate on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., where it is expected to pass with little opposition, and cross over to the House.

The House begins its first hearing on Senate Bill 1 at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 31, Halloween.

People stood on line for hours to testify before the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee on the gay marriage bill. More than 400 people testified in person after 3,459 people sent testimony in advance and hundreds more submitted testimony after the deadline or in person (photo by Mel Ah Ching)

In the 51-member House, the vote should be much closer. Abercrombie maintains he has 27 votes, or one more than he needs.

Should the bill pass the House Judiciary and Finance committees, and then pass the full House without any changes to the Senate version, the bill would go to the governor for his signature within a matter of days.

Hawaii already has a reciprocal beneficiaries law and a civil unions law.

Proponents, who have held rallies of their own, albeit considerably smaller ones, argue same sex marriage is a civil rights issue and benefits them financially.

Opponents argue against the bill on moral and legal grounds. They cite a public vote during the 1998 election on a constitutional amendment that showed residents were overwhelmingly opposed to same sex marriage and want to keep marriage between one man and one woman.

Proponents note, however, that the same amendment ultimately gave power to the legislature to define marriage.

Church leaders from more than 100 organizations have also expressed concerns about SB 1, saying it will impact their religious freedoms and give same sex marriage proponents a legal avenue to bring lawsuits against them.

Meanwhile, leaders of 50 other Hawaii religious organizations have supported the same sex marriage legislation.





  1. It would not be just to let the people decide this issue on same sex marriage because there are more non homosexuals than homosexuals living in Honolulu. Leave all judging up to God and the rest of us need to pray and ask God to help us Love Him, ourselves and one another. When two people join in Love who is to say that is wrong? All the Christians seem to want to use story from bible in Sodom but those men were not doing anything with love and even straight people rape others. Who on earth would choose to be homosexual with out the horrible treatment they receive from those who do not understand. Besides letting the people vote is like me going to enter a contest where those attending judge you and you only brought one friend and other guy who won brought 200 friends, even though I was better than him, he won because he had the majority of votes.

    • You should know what God thinks of LGBT marriage Trish.
      Yet He gives us the choice to obey or disobey. Love the sinner, hate the sin, is basic Christian teaching.
      And in return: Who on earth would choose to be Christian with the horrible treatment they receive from those who do not understand"
      Remember, Jesus never promised the road less traveled will be easy.

      • In America, no one is forced to believe in your religion. There are many religions that embrace marriage equality. If your religion does not accept same-sex marriage, then don't marry a person of the same sex — but leave the rest of us alone. My god and my faith teaches me to accept that some people are born gay and my obligation is to accord them the same equal respect and dignity as I am commanded to do with all people.

  2. — “That means that potentially 10,000 to 12,000 residents of Hawaii took time out of their busy schedules to show the legislature that they understand that marriage should remain between one man and one woman."

    It doesn't matter if 12,000 or 20,000 or even 100,000 people turn out to voice their desire to deny fundamental civil rights to a minority group. It is wrong to deny gay people their civil right to marriage no matter how many Hawaiians protest against marriage equality.

  3. Being Gay is a choice. All people have control over one thing in life, and that is their mind. I worked with a Gay at INspiration the furniture store, he said women didn't excite him any more, so, he tried sex with another man.

    There use to be morals in America, the 60's Sexual Revolution changed every thing though. Sex is not for pleasure, it is for creating life.

    Deal with it. Get over it. Majority rules.

    • So, gender unknown patriot — 1) when did you choose to be heterosexual — 2) I suppose I could count how many times you had sex by the number of babies you had — 3) the nation was founded on "choice" — and the freedom to exercise it — what part of the "All men are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights" don't you grasp?

      And could you explain why someone would "choose" such an "unnatural" thing and elect to listen to endless mush from people like you?

      As for the sexual revolution in the 1960s – gay folks weren't a part of that — why, our sex was illegal until 2003, while heteros were killing your babies and shacking up and are still raping and pillaging each other with wild abandon..

      As for majority rules — well, so what? Now the majority has been changing their mind — Deal with it, get over it.

  4. Okay Then I hope Hope they see they are about to open the door. polygamists will have to be released from jail. it can no longer be a moral issue after all it is love and they ARE A minority.

    2 women 1 man and visa versa two men two women. it is love and the are a MINORITY be prepared for the sickest world you could ever imagine

    • There seem to be few if any polygamists in jail — and polygamy is amply supported by many a Biblical verse.
      And there are no polygamy parades, groups, festivals, or bars or anything in America — while all over the world there are gay guys saying the same thing, and we make up consistently 5% of men — or, 6 out of every 100 guys – which equals the extra six boys at birth, for the natural ratio is 106 boys for every 100 girls. How odd, yes?

      • So your sentence; ">> make up consistently 5% of men — or, 6 out of every 100 guys "

        ISLAM & jihad groups are the fastest growing male groups in the world………and they will kill any non beliver or LGBT.
        This is discrimination and "EXTREMELY psychologically damaging and abusive"…..and I will fight for you by your side.
        So what's your prediction? Homosexuals will overtake radical Islam one day?

      • no — gay folks aren't going to overtake anyone — we are a mathematical function of heteros – -106 boys to 100 girls — 6 boys are gay — that's true even in Islamic nations — if they Islamic males double in population from say 100 million to 200 million than the number of gay men in Islamic societies will double absolutely, but not percentage wise — if 5 million gay guys exist in Arabia at 100 million men, then 10 million will exist at 200 million — and then Islam will deal with their gay men as well as Christians have — only on their own time schedule — for just oh, 50 years ago both were in firm agreement — gay men have got to go.

        As I joke, Maybe we should just all move to Mexico, and take it over, and make a gay republic.

      • Joke or theory, at least you'all will have saved 5 million plus Arabians from horrible death….but not Mexico, the cartels are too violent.
        Best wishes.

      • Oh, I've lived in Mexico — Mazatlan to be specific – the cartel business is overblown by an hysterical American press — it's really safer than say, Detroit or New Orleans … but thanks for your concern ….

    • 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, is the governors blatant circumvention of the democratic process. The issue of marriage has already been decided and voted on. 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 on an issue at all.

      So it's a political issue, not a religious issue

  5. Funny how the loving Christians are entirely fixated on anal sex. This has nothing to do with God or Jesus and everything to do with their own fear of penetratration and losing the power and privileges of American manhood.

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