AIEA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - About a dozen opponents of same-sex marriages greeted Gov. Neil Abercrombie with protest signs in Aiea he appeared for talk story session on the eve of the historic signing of the controversial measure.
Inside the meeting at the Newtown Community Center, Abercrombie equated the heated debate to past controversies over Hawaiian rights, capital punishment and a woman's right to an abortion.
But also he said he now hopes the community can move beyond the acrimony.
"My hope is in signing the bill, we can dial back a little bit the rhetorical excesses and that we can let a little of the legislative dust settle and we can step back on some of the passions," he said.
Abercrombie will sign the bill at the Hawaii Convention Center on Wednesday before about 200 invited guests.
Many like Michael Golojuch credit the governor for helping to make Hawaii the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriages.
"He played a pivotal role. We would never have gotten the special session without his support. He's the one who stepped up to the plate," said Golojuch, chair of the GLBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.
Outside of the meeting, protestors complained that the legislative process left them in the dark.
"We want to vote on this issue and we do not want Gov. Abercrombie or any other politician to tell us that we must accept this bill," said Maile Anderson.
Added Kaimuki resident Hunter Ward: "I believe we have rushed the process and I truly believe the majority of the state of Hawaii is against this bill."