Political Radar


August 22nd, 2013

State Rep. Denny Coffman issued a statement on Thursday declaring his unwavering support for gay marriage and urged his colleagues to back a special session.

Coffman had sent a memo to state House Speaker Joseph Souki on Wednesday recommending a special committee to analyze a gay marriage bill to fast-track during the regular session that opens in January. He warned against the potential for rushed decision-making in a special session.

But Coffman clarified on Thursday that he had not been aware that House leadership has been working with Gov. Neil Abercrombie's office and the state Attorney General's office on a draft.

From Coffman:

In today’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser, an article referred to a memo I wrote to House leadership. ("Gay marriage vote awaits more vigorous majority", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, August 22, 2013.) In that memo I asked the Speaker "to form a special committee to analyze a gay marriage bill and to fast-track legislation during the regular session." Since no marriage equality bill was heard last session, I was concerned that passing such a measure via a special session without the proper preparation and vetting would run "the risk of overlooked details in the language, rushed decision- making and ultimately, poor policy."

Due to unfortunate and unforeseen family circumstances, I have been away from the Capitol since the end of session. When I left, we were under the impression that a special session would not be called. My motive in writing the memo was to push the House to prepare a clean, vetted bill for introduction and prompt passage in the regular session. I was unaware that House leadership has been working with the Governor and the Attorney General – reviewing the legislation in detail and preparing a solid draft for earlier consideration.

I want to correct the record because the Star-Advertiser article quoted "House sources" saying that my memo "could lead other supporters to have second thoughts about a special session." I have been unwavering in my support of marriage equality and would not want anyone to have second thoughts about marriage equality or a special session.

The primary concern I wanted to express in my memo is that the legislature must perform its due diligence in addressing this important issue. I wanted to ensure that the necessary resources and processes were utilized to develop a sound and sustainable policy. Knowing that our highest levels of government are actively working to craft and vet such a bill gives me confidence that my concern has been addressed. I thus invite my colleagues to join me in full support of a special session to pass marriage equality and end discrimination against same-gendered couples.

6 Responses to “`Unwavering'”

  1. hossana:

    What's the damm rush in having a special session to implement gay marriage or vote on gay marriage or same-sex marriage?? What a monumental waste of time and money!!!!!

  2. Kolea:

    My heartfelt sympathies to Rep. Coffman for the loss in his family. He is a very decent, straight-talking man who we are lucky to have in the Legislature. My thoughts are with him and his family.

  3. Especially Incognito:

    Special case, special session.
    Civil Unions is old news and to
    keep mentioning it will only
    make those who object, more against it.
    Just to spite those who favor Same Sex Marriage.

  4. Eric Ryan:

    Since the mantra of "marriage equality" is being used to deliver special new rights to homosexuals only in 2013-14, will bisexuals be next? If marriage equality is the rallying cry to turn sexual orientation into matrimony, then every bisexual ought to be able to marry a man and woman simultaneously in keeping with the bisexual orientation. How about polygamists? Why are they being discriminated against in favor of homosexuals? Why are bisexuals being discriminated against? Is "marriage equality" just a bunch of hooey? Are politicians going to sell out bisexuals and polygamists for the sake of keeping the population from rising up against same sex marriage? Seems like a scam to set up the courts to be the deliverers of 'equality' for bisexuals and polygamists.

  5. Goober:

    One state but there are all together Fifty.

    Seems like re-election year is coming up.

  6. Especially Incognito:

    Seems the thinking of a conservative
    is one can marry their best friend, the dog.

Leave a Reply

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.