State Capitol protests disrupt same-sex marriage proceedings - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State Capitol protests disrupt same-sex marriage proceedings

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[Update 1:15 p.m. Wednesday]

Tensions escalate and tempers flare in confrontation between same-sex marriage opponents and supporters at the Capitol.

Hundreds of people are waiting in the Rotunda for a chance to get into the House chamber to view lawmakers take up the second reading and vote on an amended version of #SB1, the "Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013".

Emotions quickly escalated as dozens chanting "Let the people vote" moved their protest from just outside the House Chamber to the Capitol steps, where a previously scheduled press conference for local faith leaders who stand in support of same-sex marriage was being held. Public Safety officers quickly stepped in to monitor the situation, but did not take any action.

The sheer volume of the protests outside have disrupted the House proceedings, causing lawmakers to raise their voices as audience members strain to follow along with what they're saying. Live updates on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MilekaLincoln

[Original story posted below]

The Hawaii House of Representatives gaveled into session a little after 10 a.m. Wednesday for the second reading and vote on an amended version of SB 1, the "Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013", which advanced out of the Judiciary & Finance committees 18-12 Tuesday night.  

After an invocation and brief introductions, lawmakers immediately recessed. Vice Speaker John Mizuno indicated Representatives would reconvene at 11 a.m., but nearly an hour has come and gone since then with no indication of when legislators will return to the floor.  Republican Minority caucus member, Representative Bob McDermott, who is a staunch opponent of SB 1, says the delay is a result of in-fighting between Democratic Majority caucus members.  McDermott says a few Representatives reportedly want a roll-call vote on the floor for a proposal to introduce a Constitutional Amendment to let the people vote on same-sex marriage, but not everyone agrees. 

Hundreds of people are awaiting entry to the House gallery, in a line that wraps around the Capitol Rotunda. As with the public testimony hearings over the past few days, security is in place for a wand and bag check. Once the gallery filled up, dozens who have been left to wait outside made their way to the chamber windows chanting "Let the people vote!" Public Safety officials confirm they've stepped up their security in the Rotunda and are "closely monitoring the situation", but no incidents have been reported.

More details tonight on Hawaii News Now. 

 

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