Chaos erupts at Capitol on second day of gay marriage testimony

Chaos erupts at Capitol on second day of gay marriage testimony

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - UPDATE 9:30 a.m. Saturday: Testimony has resumed at the State Capitol.

UPDATE 7:15 p.m.: Representative Karl Rhoads announced that testimony for the same-sex marriage bill at the Capitol will continue Friday night until 10 p.m. It will resume Saturday morning at 9 a.m.

Rhoads said a decision from the committee will likely come on Monday. The committee does not plan to meet on Sunday.


Less than half an hour into the second day of public testimony on the controversial same-sex marriage bill at the Capitol, chaos broke out in the auditorium after the House Judiciary & committee Chairs ruled anyone not present when their number was called would not get a chance to testify whenever they do arrive. The decision came after Representatives attempted to pick-up where they had left off at 12:30 a.m. Friday with number #1,001 -- but not a single person from the #1,000 - 2,000 group stepped up, so Chairs moved along to the next group.

Several lawmakers attempted to appeal the ruling and as the audience grew more vocal in protest, Representatives went into recess behind closed doors to decide the most expedient and fair way to hear from the more than 4,000 people still waiting to testify.

Representative Marcus Oshiro, who sits on neither House committee, then entered the Auditorium to address the crowd and raise his concerns that the Legislature failed to meet notification requirements for public hearings. Rep. Oshiro said it wouldn't be a transparent, democratic process to turn away people who may not have been present for the 12:30 a.m. announcement, and therefore -- would not have known the public hearing was scheduled to resume Friday.

When House Judiciary Chair Representative Karl Rhoads returned from recess, he reversed his prior ruling and announced everyone will get to speak, but lawmakers would continue first in order of registration numbers first. People who weren't present for their number being called initially, will be allowed to testify after all 5,181 numbers have been called.

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