Heightened security at Capitol for same-sex hearing helps keep t - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Heightened security at Capitol for same-sex hearing helps keep the peace

Kevin Kuroda, House Sgt. at Arms Kevin Kuroda, House Sgt. at Arms
Horace Chee-Manuia Horace Chee-Manuia
Shawna Okami Shawna Okami
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

There was more of a party atmosphere outside the Capitol Friday than in previous days, and efforts to separate supporters and opponents appeared to be working.

The supporters' side had dance music blaring and waved signs to cars on Beretania Street.

Opponents were seen singing and partaking in fellowship and prayer. They occasionally chanted 'let the people decide.'

There was some bickering. At one point, some opponents complained that supporters were encroaching on their territory, but monitors from each side were quick to keep the peace.

"My hats go off to the monitors because they are able to step in and address things before they escalate," said Kevin Kuroda, House Sgt. at Arms.

"We are not here to kill the people. We are here to kill the bill," said Horace Chee-Manuia, who opposes same-sex marriage in Hawaii. "The bill is what we want to take out, and if people portray it differently, well we love everybody."

"Because of the security measures that were put into place, many of our members and supporters are feeling much safer than we felt a few days ago," added Shawna Okami, a bill supporter.

Not only is the area on the ground level separated, but the deputies also separated the bathrooms. Deputies have been searching people who want to go inside the chamber and listen to lawmakers.

Wednesday was more tense, with people in each others' faces trying to shout over one another. Some were throwing insults and some said they were spit on but that was not the case on Friday.


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