Political Radar

SB 1

October 23rd, 2013

The state Senate released its draft of a gay marriage bill on Tuesday afternoon.

The draft, unlike previous versions that were circulated, carves out a narrow exemption to the public accommodations law for churches that do not make religious facilities or grounds available to the general public for weddings for a profit.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie also submitted a revised draft on Tuesday that incorporates some of the suggestions from religious leaders but does not exempt churches from the public accommodations law.

Readers can compare the religious exemption in the Senate draft with previous versions by clicking here.

From Senate Bill 1, in Section 1:

(3) Protect religious freedom and liberty by:

(A) Ensuring that no clergy or other officer of any religious organization will be required to solemnize any marriage, in accordance with the Hawaii State Constitution and the United States Constitution; and

(B) Clarifying that unless a religious organization allows use of its facilities or grounds by the general public for weddings for a profit, such organization shall not be required to make its facilities or grounds available for solemnization of any marriage celebration.

From Section 2:

§572-E Refusal to solemnize a marriage. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require any clergy, minister, priest, rabbi, officer of any religious denomination or society, or religious society not having clergy but providing solemnizations that is authorized to perform solemnizations pursuant to this chapter to solemnize any marriage. No such person who fails or refuses to solemnize any marriage under this section for any reason shall be subject to any fine, penalty, injunction, administrative proceeding, or other civil liability for the failure or refusal.

§572-F Religious organizations and facilities; liability exemption under certain circumstances. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no religious organization shall be subject to any fine, penalty, injunction, administrative proceeding, or civil liability for refusing to make its facilities or grounds available for solemnization of any marriage celebration under this chapter; provided that the religious organization does not make its facilities or grounds available to the general public for solemnization of any marriage celebration for a profit.

For purposes of this section, a religious organization accepting donations from the public, providing religious services to the public, or otherwise permitting the public to enter the religious organization's premises shall not constitute "for a profit."

23 Responses to “SB 1”

  1. Eric Ryan:

    Gosh, if a church is prohibited by this law from being choosy about the kind of weddings take place within their four walls, it's obvious that these Democrats plan to be even more vindictive toward businesses and organizations which had hoped to exercise their freedom to say "no" in their rush to force acceptance. Gee, I can hardly wait to see what Democrats have in mind for our keiki in schools and elsewhere once this bill is passed.

  2. nonpolitic:

    Mr. Ryan:

    If you actually read the text of the bill draft, it provide DOES allow religious organizations to refuse to rent its facilities and grounds; PROVIDED that it does not make its facilities or grounds available to the general public for solemnization of any marriage celebration for a profit. Basically, it just states that if religious organizations want to continue to rent their property to any couple who wants to get married, regardless of the couple's religious beliefs, then they have to also accept gay couples. After all, if a Catholic church is willing to rent its grounds to a Shinto couple from Japan to get married, how can the church reasonably refuse a gay Catholic couple from renting the same property?

    Please read (and understand) before you comment. Thank you.

  3. Manoa Kahuna:

    This bill clearly exempts real religious institutions but not commercial operations posing as churches.

  4. Especially Incognito:

    In Hawaii any business has the right to refuse
    service to anyone. Pass a law first against this.
    Again "special" treatment. You don't like it,
    file a discrimination charge against them.

    Seems that many think same sex marriage
    is more important. If there is no settlement
    to our debt ceiling, it won't matter to the people.

  5. Manoa_Fisherman:

    Of the currently existing statutes in the 13 states that recognize same sex marriages, the proposed language in both the SB 1 and SB 1, SD 1, the so called exemption or protection for churches is weaker than any existing statute. The proposed Hawaii legislation essentially provides churches with no protection what so ever against discrimination law suits. No one is being fooled by the proposals by the State Senate or Abercrombie. This is a blatant attempt to circumvent the First Amendment Rights of those who's religious beliefs they disagree with, plain and simple. This issue now shows that the ACLU, who backs same sex marriage, does not care about all civil rights, only the selected ones they support.

  6. nonpolitic:

    Especially Incognito:

    To a certain extent, you are correct in assuming that a business can refuse service to anyone; UNLESS the business is basing the refusal on the belief that the prospective consumer belongs to a "protected class" (e.g., race, religion, sex (and in some cases sexual orientation), etc.).

    Oh, and just to let you know, the debt ceiling issue is a federal matter before Congress. The same sex marriage issue will be discussed by the state legislature next week. Let's not compare apples to oranges.

  7. Eric Ryan:

    Hey anonymous poster "nonpolitic", I fully understand the bogus religious exemption. Nice try. A church, an organization, a hotel, a store, a massage therapist, a wedding photographer should ALL be able to say "NO" to whomever they want. Freedom means being able to say "NO". Democrats in Hawaii don't understand or embrace freedom. They want to force everyone to accept their ideology. "Do business in Hawaii and you will refuse service to no one." Businesses, churches, organizations, individuals should ALL be able to do business with whomever they want. But Democrats want to use the power of government to force everyone to accept their radical vision. Yes, "nonpolitic", I fully understand the bill, and the intent behind it.

  8. Especially Incognito:

    "just to let you know". I would not make a comment without knowing the answer. Seems you find same sex marriage that will benefit only a few above the debt ceiling. Must be a conservative comparing apples to oranges.

    Same sex marriage has been a topic for years and will still be.

    Go into any "restaurant" in Hawaii and you won't see a sign but the intent is there. "Has the right to refuse service".
    It has a bouncer.

  9. Laughing Parrot:

    I wonder if Mr. Ryan is aware that the public accommodations law was enacted in Hawaii 27 years ago. Since that time businesses have been prohibited from discriminating against certain "protected classes" including based on religious belief. Sexual orientation was added to the public accommodations law 7 years ago. The marriage bill is not changing the law with respect to businesses. Under the First Amendment and this bill, every clergy member has the right to refuse to solemnize a marriage for any reason so long as the marriage violates that person's religious belief. This means that if a church does not want to solemnize the marriage of a same sex couple, the clergy simply refuse and there can be no penalty for this refusal. This right trumps the public accommodations law.

  10. nonpolitic:

    To Mr. Ryan:

    I suggest then you take your complaint to Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court since it seems that your problem is more of a federal issue than a state one. I suppose if you were alive in the 1960s (or at least cognitive), then you would have supported school segregation as well.

    To Especially Incognito:

    If you know that it's a federal issue, why bring it up as what can only be interpreted as a non sequitur to Mr. DePledge's post?

    With respect to your claim that every "restaurant" (the use of quotes escapes me) has a bouncer, I disagree. Besides, if by "restaurant" you are alluding to a place that serves alcoholic beverages, then there is a law against underage drinking. Obviously you haven't been sued by a person claiming protected class status.

    In my limited view, if passed, someone will get sued, no matter what version is enacted.

  11. Especially Incognito:

    If you must know, and you don't, each of my comments are
    connected. You ninpolitic should read other blogs, rather than pick one
    and comment. Makes you look foolish. Try to sound wise
    but contrary, Mary you are otherwise.

  12. Especially Incognito:

    ninpolitic, If it not relevent to this blog, should not bring it up.
    Since you have no idea what is being said, you contradict yourself
    and prove that you are clueless to what is being said. Question me
    and you best know my answer or don't ask the question. You make no
    sense. Keep you two cents and save for you Health Insurance. It covers the need for neurology.

  13. nonpolitic:

    To Especially Incognito (yes, I know how to type, spell, AND use words with the appropriate meaning):

    I suggest you establish your own blog if you want people to fully understand your rambling yet pointless diatribes rather than spout nonsensical rhetoric on this forum.

    Oh, and by the way, I have no need to save my two cents for health insurance for neurological maladies. My nerves are just fine thank you.

  14. Especially Incognito:

    "I suggest you establish your own blog if you want people to fully understand your rambling yet pointless diatribes rather than spout nonsensical rhetoric on this forum." nonpolitics.

    You suggest? Seems if you answer back with your pointless diatribes and nonsensical rheoric, you understand. Seems I hit a nerve, just fine thank you.

  15. Especially Incognito:

    correction nonsensical rhetoric.

    Seems nonpolitic is a Civil Authority. Just a case of one with neurological maladies. Seems it does not understand but is
    offended by what it does not understand. Genious.

  16. nonpolitic:


    Ha ha ha! Thank you very much for so humorously proving my point. Post on!

  17. Especially Incognito:


    Ha ha ha! Thank you very much for so humorously proving my point. Post on!

  18. ao:

    Aloha! 🙂 I haven't read thru SB1 entirely, but in looking @ states who already have legalized "same sex" marriage, this means that all schools will be teaching children about homosexuality and "same sex" marriage (and related topics) without consent from parents. Correct?

    Gay/trans or not...do you truly find it perfectly acceptable for, say, a 5 year old kindergarten student to be receiving explicit education promoting homosexuality?

    Mahalo for your feedback - aloha! :O)

  19. Guaranteed Personality:

    The handwriting has already been written on the walls in both Canada and TAXachuesettes concerning the homosexual indoctrination of children. Since the law in those two areas protects homosexual choice public schools do not have to alert parents when a teacher has decided to promote and utilize a pro-gay syllabus and you cannot opt out of the lesson for the day either. It's the proverbial elephants trunk in the tent in full legal regalia!

  20. Especially Incognito:

    Is this Canada? Or Massachuettes?
    Another elephant in the room.

  21. uncle:

    I am scared to death as to what is about to happen to Hawaii, since perversion is being granted rights to perpetuate

    I also cannot believe a sitting senator said that businesses can post rainbow symbols that would be a sign that it is gay friendly . IS IT NOT against the law to say business are not to say WE SERVE WHITES only. how you feel now who elected her?

    Senator Hee you twisted the facts at the end about who voted for and against you lied in front of everyone and twisted the facts on the votes. 60 40 liar with the 60% unsure how that 60 was actually leaning. bogus twist of facts you are an Obama abebeycrombie stooge.

  22. Mr. T:

    Our forefathers intended separation of Church and State. If marriage is considered a religious concept, it is unconstitutional for the legislature to decide what is "marriage". If they intend to give gay couples additional rights they should change the language of the bill to do so, and not change the definition of marriage.

  23. Especially Incognito:

    This is not Hawaii.
    This is the mainland
    and all the transplants
    come here to preach.

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