Political Radar


October 27th, 2013

State House Speaker Joseph Souki has rejected a request by House Republicans to remove Rep. Cynthia Thielen, the only Republican who supports marriage equality, from the House Judiciary Committee.

Republicans, who are part of Souki’s leadership coalition, wanted to replace Thielen with another Republican who opposes gay marriage.

Thielen (R, Kailua-Kaneohe) and Rep. Bob McDermott (R, Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point) are the two Republicans who serve on the House Judiciary Committee, which will likely hold a hearing on a gay marriage bill in special session this week and appears to have the votes to advance the legislation.

Rep. Gene Ward (R, Kalama Valley-Queen’s Gate-Hawaii Kai) confirmed Sunday that Republicans had made the request.

“I said `no,’,” Souki (D, Waihee-Waiehu-Wailuku) said. “There’s no reason. She has not done anything wrong.”

Other House leaders said their practice is to not make changes to the committee lineup midstream unless the lawmaker involved consents or should be removed for cause.

Thielen, who is liberal on social issues and known for her defense of the environment, is the only Republican at the Legislature who favors marriage equality. The six other House Republicans, and the lone Republican in the state Senate, oppose gay marriage.

Thielen could not be reached for comment Sunday evening.

*Update: Thielen responded on Monday morning via text:

"I've been a mainstream Republican since college days. Social conservatives have hijacked our party to push their social agenda.

"I refuse to cave in to their demand to get off (the) Judiciary committee. As a Republican I support marriage equality and believe we should pass the bill now.

"Remember, Teddy Roosevelt created the national parks. Barry Goldwater supported gays in the military and was pro-choice. Then religion and people with social agendas took over. If our party ever will become relevant, we need mainstream members to fight for tolerance, for less government control over peoples' lives."

15 Responses to “`No'”

  1. Especially Incognito:

    No means No.

  2. ohiaforest3400:

    House rules allocate committee memberships proportionately and require the minority party to identify its representatives on each the committee assignments of its members would come from the caucus and be communicated to the Speaker by the Minority Leader, in this case Aaron Ling Johanson.

    That this request came from Bubba and Preen suggests that it was a desperate maneuver by two homophobe GOP guerrilla rogues, not by the caucus as a whole.

  3. Eric Ryan:

    Now it can be claimed by the members of the House minority caucus that they did absolutely everything they could do to stop gay marriage . . . except for absolutely everything else that they could have done in the past year since the 2012 election. Gosh, procrastinators like these really pull some last minute, embarrassing crap when their do-nothingness is on display for all to see and their backs are against the wall. What will any of them have left to offer Hawaii's social conservatives in the post-gay marriage era when election time rolls around? Sounds like Hawaii Democrats are poised to make some gains at the legislature in 2014 against a shrinking party with a deflated base that will soon (as in one week from now) be wondering "Why bother?". For example, what could Beth "Six Months of Silence" Fukumoto offer Hawaii Family Advocates after they bankrolled her 2012 victory over Marilyn Lee with postcards about stopping gay marriage? Investment in these phony, reluctant conservatives proved worthless.

  4. Nala007:

    I don't think there is anything the House minority Republicans could have done to stop the path of progress. Kudos to Republican Rep. Cynthia Thielen for being the lone sole Republican legislator in this state who supports marriage equality. History will judge her well and the rest of you, some day you will be ashamed of yourselves.

  5. Bigislandkurt:

    Right on Souki! If it was Calvin Say, Theilen would have been gone.

  6. nana kokolele:

    This debate is stupid. opponents want to stall and not take it to court. Because the supreme court already struck down DOMA. The lower courts in every case so far has sided with the unconstitutionality of DOMA and thus allowing gay marriage. New Jersey is the latest state allowing marriages to take place even though the highest court is yet to hear the case before them. A lower court judge determined partly from the Supreme court's ruling on DOMA to deem the New Jersey law unconstitutional. There are 14 states currently challenging its own state laws regarding same sex marriage. They want the courts to rule, especially since the Supreme court struck down DOMA. And for the last time, this is a civil case not a religious one. Our government is based on laws not religious laws. If you want to talk about religion, leave it up to an individual to decide.

  7. Especially Incognito:

    Re-election time is when many marinetters show
    who is pulling their strings.

  8. marilynlee:

    You go girl!,M

  9. Della Au Belatti:

    Ditto to marilynlee's previous comment. ~DAB

  10. Gale:

    Proud of you Cynthia and Speaker Joe! I just wish that those in the Democratic Party who tried so hard to keep Laura Thielen out would take note and get over LT being in the Party. They should have been celebrating and welcoming.

  11. ohiaforest3400:

    Well, the entire body apparently will get to vote on the issue via reso tomorrow (Tues.) so perhaps that will be a preview of how the votes will split when the marriage bill (unamended) comes over from the Senate.

  12. Especially Incognito:

    "This is a decision that should not be made by one person sitting in her office or by members of the Majority Party behind closed doors in a legislative caucus, but by all the people of Hawaii behind the curtain of the voting booth." linda lingle.

    History repeats itself and nothing learned and nothing
    gained. Future will fail again and again.

  13. Ikaika:

    Here's an update on this story:


  14. Political Radar | HR5 | Political Radar | staradvertiser.com | Honolulu, Hawaii:

    [...] said she refused to step down from the Judiciary committee and warned that Republicans will remain on the fringes politically [...]

  15. Especially Incognito:

    Republicans need to bi-partisan
    on many issues. Debt ceiling.
    ObamaHealtCare, and other issues.

    I recognize that "Rep. Cynthia Thielen, the only Republican who supports marriage equality, from the House Judiciary Committee." Can make a difference. Since I am a tax payer I am getting my moneys worth with Rep. Thielen. I need to get more out of most conservatives.

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