Political Radar


June 27th, 2013

State House Vice Speaker John Mizuno (D, Kamehameha Heights-Kalihi Valley), a Christian who has opposed gay marriage, had wanted voters to decide the issue through a constitutional amendment. But he said Wednesday that in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that legally married gay couples are entitled to federal benefits, the dynamics have shifted and he now believes the Legislature should decide.

“I know it’s a complete change of my position in the past,” he said.

Mizuno is among 11 House and Senate Democrats facing complaints by gay activists that the lawmakers worked against the Democratic Party of Hawaii’s platform last session by suggesting a constitutional amendment on gay marriage. The party’s platform supports marriage equality.

The complaints, which are pending before the party, were a sign of frustration from gay and civil rights activists who were not only disappointed in the Democrats who broke from the party line, but that majority Democrats would not even hear a gay marriage bill last session.

Rep. Richard Fale (R, Waialua-Kahuku-Waiahole), said it will be fascinating to watch how the House leadership coalition, which includes progressive Democrats who favor gay marriage and minority Republicans who are opposed, handles the issue next session.

Fale, who opposes gay marriage, believes voters have already settled the question with the constitutional amendment in 1998 that gave the Legislature the power to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

“Ultimately, it seems like the Supreme Court has still left it to the purview of the states to make decisions regarding this issue. And I believe the people in the state of Hawaii have made a decision on this issue,” he said.

6 Responses to “Dynamics”

  1. Utse:

    As long as Mercado Kim is Senate President, a marriage equality bill is DOA.

  2. hossana:

    Is there no one with an ounce of PROFILE IN COURAGE to stand-up and be counted against the activists in support of gay marriage??????

  3. ohiaforest3400:

    Fale has a revisionist's take on the 1998 constitutional amendment. It did NOT define marriage as between a man and a woman. It deferred to the Legislature to make that judgment and the Legislature did so. However, the Legislature is also free to NOT define marriage in that way and we may see them change the definition, consistent with the authority given them by the 1998 amendment.

  4. Goober:

    Wonder how parents of the same sex will explain to
    their children what is what.
    Michael Jackson's children know their father but the
    public sees different. No one is right or wrong.

    No one has the courage to do what right if
    they want to get re-elected to office.

    Seems there are those in complaint go defensive.

  5. Kolea:

    I think Utse is correct. “As long as Mercado Kim is Senate President, a marriage equality bill is DOA.”

    Her refusal to support marriage equality will not only prevent it from passing the Senate, it is likely to cause fence-straddles in the House to refuse to take a “risk” by supporting equality.

    The Democratic Party leaders MAY have a chance to use the complaint process effectively IF they have a nuanced touch. Something they have not displayed in recent years.i recommend they stop persecuting the many timid foot soldier legislators but focus on Donna Kim. Her stance is different. If a legislator, as an individual, does not support marriage equality despite the Democratic Party’s platform calling for full marriage equality , that is unfortunate. But is the Senate president goes beyond her individual views in order to prevent even a VOTE on a key party plank, I think that is egregious enough to deserve a confrontation.

    So I advise the Dems to express disappointment in the other legislators and focus solely on Senator Kim.

  6. Goober:

    Don't like the "H" word but more so don't
    like it, is the "G" word now not meaning carefree.
    Republicans were the first to veto Civil Unions bill in Hawaii.
    ask lingle. Seems one forgets

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