House passes second reading of amended same-sex marriage bill - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

House passes second reading of amended same-sex marriage bill

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The Hawaii House of Representatives passed a second reading of an amended version of SB 1, the "Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013" Wednesday night passed 30 to 18, with 3 legislators excused.  The vote came after hours of procedural delays, involving several amendments introduced by Representatives who have stood in opposition to same-sex marriage -- including two failed attempts to enact a Constitutional amendment to let the people decide and one motion to postpone a vote on the bill "indefinitely". 

The following Representatives voted YES:

- Rep. Della Au Belatti (D - Moiliili, Makiki, Tantalus)
- Rep. Tom Brower (D - Waikiki, Ala Moana, Kakaako)
- Rep. Denny Coffman (D - Naalehu, Captain Cook, Keahou)
- Rep. Cindy Evans (D - Kaupulehu, Waimea, Halaula)
- Rep. Faye Hanohano (D - Hawaiian Acres, Pahoa, Kalapana)
- Rep. Mark Hashem (D - Hahaione Valley, Aina Haina, Kahala)
- Rep. Linda Ichiyama (D - Salt Lake, Moanalua Valley)
- Rep. Kaniela Ing (D - South Maui)
- Rep. Derek Kawakami (D - Hanalei, Princeville, Kapaa)
- Rep. Bertrand Kobayashi (D - Diamond Head, Kaimuki, Kapahulu)
- Rep. Chris Lee (D - Kailua, Lanikai, Waimanalo)
- Rep. Nicole Lowen (D - Holualoa, Kailua-Kona, Honokohau)
- Rep. Sylvia Luke (D - Punchbowl, Pauoa, Nuuanu)
- Rep. Angus McKelvey (D - Lahaina, Kaanapali, Honokohau)
- Rep. John Mizuno (D - Kamehameha Heights, Kalihi Valley)
- Rep. Dee Morikawa (D - Niihau, Koloa, Kokee)
- Rep. Mark Nakashima (D - Kukuihaele, Lapahoehoe, North Hilo)
- Rep. Scott Nishimoto (D - McCully, Moiliili, Kapahulu)
- Rep. Takashi Ohno (Nuuanu, Liliha, Alewa Heights)
- Rep. Richard Onishi (D - South Hilo, Keaau, Honuapo)
- Rep. Karl Rhoads (D - Chinatown, Iwilei, Kalihi)
- Rep. Scott Saiki (D - Downtown, Kakaako, McCully)
- Rep. Calvin Say (D - Palolo, St. Louis Heights, Kaimuki)
- Speaker Joseph Souki (D - Waihee, Waiehu, Wailuku)
- Rep. Mark Takai (D - Halawa, Aiea, Newtown)
- Rep. Gregg Takayama (D - Pearl City, Waimalu, Pacific Palisades)
- Rep. Roy Takumi (D - Pearl City, Waipio, Pearl Harbor)
- Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R - Kailua, Kaneohe)
- Rep. Jessica Wooley (D - Kahaluu, Ahuimanu, Kaneohe)
- Rep. Kyle Yamashita (D - Sprecklesville, Upcountry Maui)

The following Representatives voted NO: 

- Rep. Henry Aquino (D - Waipahu)
- Rep. Karen Awana (D - Kalaleloa, Ko Olina, Maili)
- Rep. Mele Carroll (D - Haiku, Hana, Kaupo, Kipahulu, Nahiku, Paia, Kahoolawe, Molokini, Lanai, Moloka'i, Molokini)
- Rep. Lauren Cheape Matsumoto (R - Mililani, Schofield, Kunia)
- Rep. Ty Cullen (D - Waipahu, Royal Kunia, Makakilo)
- Rep. Richard Fale (R - Waialua, Kahuku, Waiahole)
- Rep. Beth Fukumoto (R - Mililani, Mililani Mauka, Waipio Acres)
- Rep. Sharon Har (D - Kapolei, Makakilo)
- Rep. Ken Ito (D - Kaneohe, Maunawili, Kailua)
- Rep. Aaron Johanson (R - Fort Shafter, Moanalua Gardens, Aliamanu)
- Rep. Jo Jordan (D - Waianae, Makaha, Makua)
- Rep. Bob McDermott (R - Ewa Beach, Iroquois Point)
- Rep. Marcus Oshiro (D - Wahiawa, Whitmore, Poamoho)
- Rep. James Tokioka (D - Wailua, Hanamaulu, Lihue)
- Rep. Clift Tsuji (D - Hilo, Waiakea, Keaukaha)
- Rep. Gene Ward (R - Kalama Valley, Queen's Gate, Hawaii Kai)
- Rep. Justin Woodson (D - Kahului, Wailuku, Puunene)
- Rep. Ryan Yamane (D - Mililani, Waipio, Waikele)

The following Representatives were EXCUSED:

- Rep. Rida Cabanilla (D - Ewa Beach, West Loch Estates)
- Rep. Romy Cachola (D - Sand Island, Kalihi, Airport)
- Rep. Isaac Choy (D - Manoa, Punahou, Moiliili)

Immediately following the vote, Speaker of the House Joseph Souki, said there weren't any surprises. 

"There were very strong feelings on both sides -- one motivated to delay the bill, one to pass the bill -- and we respect both sides, but I'm glad that finally those who favored the bill prevailed," Souki said.

"Having a large crowd does not necessarily indicate the merits of the measure, because it is a civil rights issue of providing rights to a minority," described Souki.

House Majority Leader Scott Saiki echoed the Speaker of the House's sentiments on the expectation for vocal opposition to the measure.

"I think that the vote tonight showed that there is sufficient support for passage on Friday," Saiki said.  "What was made clear tonight, through all of the procedural votes, was that members had basically made up their mind -- vote counts were consistent, whether it was for procedural motion or for the bill itself," he added, explaining members came to their decisions after the public hearings and meeting with constituents.

House Minority Floor leader, Representative Beth Fukumoto described the process as flawed. 

"This was so rushed and the public wasn't heard -- not fully.  It was an unfair, broken process.  It was transparent because we were able to see just how bad it was, but it was really bad and I'm disappointed that we rushed this through," Fukumoto said after the vote. 

Representative Richard Fale agreed. 

"It's definitely very evident that the historic turnout at the Senate Bill 1's hearing by the people of the state of Hawaii had no impact on the direction that the bill was headed.  This certainly is a dog and pony show and that the destiny of the bill has been pre-set.  The deals have been made, the arms have been twisted -- until there's no turning back," said Fale.

Earlier in the day tensions escalated and tempers flared as same-sex marriage opponents and supporters clashed in the Capitol Rotunda, where hundreds of people showed up to watch the SB 1 second reading and vote proceedings. 

The exchange between crowd members quickly grew heated 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.  

"Let the people vote!" several people shouted running through the pastors, reverends and religious leaders who were holding hands singing "Amazing Grace". 

Public Safety officers quickly stepped in to monitor the situation, but did not take any action. 

Several officers later confirmed there were no incidents, but they were ready and in place to break the crowd up if needed because there was no official permit in place for a rally in the area. 

Charlotte Ahll, who opposes same-sex marriage, says she's been coming to the Capitol for the past seven days, because this was too important of an issue to stay at home. 

"The word marriage was prior to any government, by the way it does belong to the religious community.  And so they have their civil unions but the things they're saying actually should be petitioned at the Congress not at our state," Ahll explained. 

"I came to the Capitol today to support human rights and equal marriage rights, because it's very important to me and I think that everyone deserves love and deserves that public validation of love.  So that's why I'm here -- equality for all," Brooke Newell said, adding she's never participated in the legislative process like this before.

For nearly nine hours non-stop, the sheer volume of protestors who gathered outside the House chambers chanting "Let the people vote!" was so loud, it disrupted House proceedings-- causing lawmakers to raise their voices as audience members and fellow legislators strained to hear what was being said during floor discussion. 

The few dozen who were still remaining when the second reading roll-call vote was finally taken just before 9 p.m. Wednesday night only grew louder. 

The House will now wait 48 hours until they take up a third reading and vote on SB 1, as required with any bill that has been amended.  

SB 1, House Draft 1 expands the religious exemptions to protect clergy from refusing to perform wedding ceremonies and religious institutions from being compelled to allow wedding celebrations or provide wedding goods or services to a same-sex couple. If the House passes SB 1 on it's third reading, which is expected sometime Friday, November 8 -- it will then crossover to the Senate for a final vote. If SB 1 passes in the Senate, it will go into effect December 2, 2013. 

SB 1 HD 1 can be read here.

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