Political Radar

Hear ye

October 10th, 2013

State Rep. Bob McDermott has asked House Speaker Joseph Souki to schedule hearings on a gay marriage bill on the Neighbor Islands and Oahu. The House Judiciary Committee would conduct the hearings.

McDermott, a Republican who opposes gay marriage and wants the voters to decide the issue through a constitutional amendment, said the bill is being rushed in a special session this month. McDermott serves on the House Judiciary Committee.

Souki, however, has no plans to hold hearings on the Neighbor Islands, according to a House spokeswoman.

“Their intention is to rush this bill though in a five-day special session with very limited opportunities for the public to give testimony or attend public hearings” McDermott said in a statement.

He added “that allowing residents of the Neighbor Islands to participate in public hearings would assure them that the governor and Legislature were not deliberately ignoring them on this major societal change. They deserve to be heard.”

7 Responses to “Hear ye”

  1. Guy:

    The governor posted a draft of a marriage bill on his website in August, leaving a full two months for the public to review and offer input to their legislators. Special session is still weeks away. The argument that this is being rushed just falls flat. McDermott obviously opposes same-sex marriage and is trying to delay, delay, delay. But anyone who is not making their voice heard on this issue, regardless of island, is just plain lazy. You do not have to wait.

  2. Kolea:

    Bob McDermott has found a cause he can use to call attention to himself and win support from the angry crowd which fuels the Tea Party and Religious Right wing of the Republican Party on the mainland. And he is going to milk this for all he can.

    It doesn't matter that majority of Hawaii resident now support marriage equality. Most of the opposition to equal rights for gays has recognized the "writing in on the wall" and History is consigning homophobia to its dustbin, along with racism, sexism, anti-semitism, anti-Catholic prejudice and so many other, formerly acceptable, but now discarded forms of bigotry.

    But that doesn't undercut the value of this cause for Bob McDermott. If there is a passionate minority, willing to make this a "single-issue" determinate for how they will vote, he can gather campaign contributions and support from all over the state. For the past year, Bob has been forced to remain on Good Behavior by the tactical alliance with the Democrats in the state House. This has resulted in more CIP money flowing into their districts and a calmer atmosphere for debating the bills. BUt he has had to watch, like a kid looking out the window at a playground, as the Tea Party Republicans in Congress have been free to run wild, speechifying and having fun. Now, finally, a real "Red Meat" issue is tossed in front of him and he can no longer resist. Red Meat! A Red Flag! For the Red Shirt Mob!

    Let's take this on the road! The Traveling Bob, Rant and Rave, Fire and Brimstone Show! ("For the sake of the children"®. Of course!)

  3. Especially Incognito:

    Children aren't the ones
    complaining. Its the adults
    who find they deserve special treatment.
    No better than a conservative or liberal.
    Maybe a new type of tea party.

  4. ohiaforest3400:

    Why doesn't he push for Neighbor Island hearings during regular sessions? Wait, that was a rhetorical question . . . .

    Just another misfire from the man who still believes the earth is flat.

  5. Alan R. Spector:

    The truth, which is something McDermott is not concerned with, is that this special session actually allows more time for public input.
    1). The proposed draft if the bill was made public almost 2 months before session. In regular session, we don't have this lead time.

    2) members of the public have extensive time to read the bill and contact their State Rep and State Senator

    3) members of the public will have the opportunity to submit testimony for two public hearings (just like in regular session).

    4) members of the public can attend the public hearings, just like in regular sessions.

    5) AND UNLIKE regular sessions when legislators are swamped, the legislators will have had several months of downtime, prior to special session, to meet face to face with their constituents. Trying to get face to face meetings during session is more of a challenge. McDermott could be organizing conditioner meetings and town hall style meetings in his district right now! Don't think he wants to do that though since he wouldn't like the outcome. He would hear that the majority of the public supports marriage equality.

  6. Especially Incognito:

    Someone does not want to pay extra for special hearings
    and meetings. If one wants it so much,
    than donate more to the cause. My tax dollars
    are already paying for a tea party shutdown.

  7. Goober:

    The "truth". Seems more like an opinion.
    Seems like Fox News is commenting.

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