Political Radar

5 to 2

October 28th, 2013

The state Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee voted late Monday to advance a gay marriage bill after a daylong public hearing that explored themes of equality and religious liberty, first-class citizenship and the word of God.

The 5 to 2 vote came after the debate over marriage equality engulfed the state Capitol during the first day of a special legislative session called by Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

"It's historic in the sense that there's a huge paradigm shift, but it's a shift that, in my opinion, bends the arc of justice towards the right way," Sen. Clayton Hee (D, Heeia-Laie-Waialua), the committee's chairman, said after the vote. "It takes us to a new level of equal rights."

The bill -- which was unamended -- now goes to the full Senate, where it is likely to be approved and sent to the state House.

Along with Hee, Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria, Sen. Les Ihara, Jr., and Sen. Malama Solomon voted for the bill. Sen. Mike Gabbard and Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom voted against the bill.

Slom, the lone Republican in the Senate, said he did not believe the issue of same-sex marriage warranted a special session. "There's no urgency," he said before the vote. "I do believe that it is politically motivated from a governor who is slipping in the polls and who has mandated this session."

Hee said the committee received 3,459 pieces of written testimony as of Sunday morning. He said 2,073 were in opposition -- or about 60 percent -- while 1,386 were in support -- or 40 percent.

More than 1,800 people signed up to testify at Monday's hearing in the state Capitol auditorium, which opened at 10:30 a.m. and closed just before 10 p.m., with meal breaks in between.

15 Responses to “5 to 2”

  1. Kolea:

    I listened to most of the testimony. I appreciate how many people are TRYING to understand their society. But, boy, it was painful to hear so many people buzz through the same, uninformed talking points, demonstrating their eagerness to be trained by their handlers rather than thinking for themselves. Indeed, it is obvious they believe thinking for oneself rather than following a pastor, is a sign of vanity.

    Despite having been asked to NOT repeat things they had heard others say, but only speak if they had something new to add, members of the mega-churches, mostly from the various New Hope franchise operations which have enriched Wayne Cordeiro, earnestly warned us of the future effects of same sex marriage, based upon their "research" of "what had happened in Massachusetts and Canada." And where, pray tell, have they "learned" about Massachusetts and Canada? Apparently from some off-the-wall article they have been circulating through the churches, like the fake urban legends we are bombarded with in emails from credulous friends. I guess their "research" doesn't include a brief check with Snopes to find out if what they are parroting is FAKE?

    Protestantism, in its origins, promoted the idea that individuals are able to read the Bible in the local language and come to their own conclusions, without the mediation of the Church to explain the meaning of Scripture. For too many, it has become the institutionalized submission of individual intelligence to the authoritarian collective, run inevitably by a charismatic male figure. Many people become "born-again" Christians, surrendering their independent judgment to "Jesus" (or the charismatic pastor/fundamentalist collective) after having made a mess of their personal lives through drugs, alcohol, infidelity or, and this is important, due to the heartless conditions of a society stripped of its compassion by a ruthless dog-eat-dog economic system.

    But the authoritarianism of rightwing forms of Protestantism are not simply the result of the breakdown of modern society. Puritanism, which in American mythology, has been presented as an exercise in "religious freedom," was tyrannical and oppressive from its early days. It was the Puritans in North America who burned the "witches" and executed the Quakers. Their notion of "religious freedom," which we hear on the lips of their ideological descendants in the testimony yesterday, was only concerned with THEIR liberty to express THEIR beliefs, privileged above those of others and the basis for discriminatory laws based upon their received "morality."

    Our educational system has produced a lot of half-educated people, unable to think critically. The ability to reason, examine evidence, apply logic, develop hypotheses to explain the world, only to test those hypotheses against the evidence, has been replaced by an eagerness to "receive knowledge" from trusted sources, approved by the leaders of orthodoxy and compatible with a particular reading of the Bible. This is authoritarianism, plain and simple. And we saw it on full display yesterday, with speaker after speaker. This problem is getting worse as more Christian reactionaries withdraw from secular schools into their subcultural bubble, through religious schools and home-schooling. But the corporate "educational reform," which devalues critical thinking in favor of the rote learning "appropriate" for low-paid employees, and stripped of "luxuries" like the humanities and social science, is simply another source for unthinking faux citizens.

    At least we can see where the money went which was stolen from our Department of Education through the under-reporting of the hours of use by these churches. They used it to brainwash a cadre of drones to try to grab even more control over our government. Onward Christian Soldiers.

  2. innocent observer:

    although the majority of the people testifying were antis, it was so boring since they were repeating their arguments. guess they felt that making 10 million false statements will eventually become factual.

  3. kimo browner:

    Brilliant! Attack the church to prove Gay marriage is logical? That's called demagoguery, not reasoned testimony for gay marriage.

  4. Manoa Kahuna:

    Well said Kolea.

  5. Nala007:

    One of the opponents who I know personally, approached me and apologized for their behavior of her co-religionists. She got talking and she started parroting these same arguments about how passage of SB1 will take away her rights as a mother to decide what her child learns at school. After giving her the facts, I reminded her that this is exactly what she claimed years ago about the civil union bill. I asked her, "Did any of these fears prove true now that civil union has been the law for almost 2 years years?" Her answer was "no, but civil unions are different from marriage." I said, "But before you were saying that civil unions = same-sex marriage." She couldn't respond directly and instead simply said, "I think this would be better if it goes to the people for a vote?" Me, "Well you have lost the last 4 votes, you know that right? Maine, Maryland, Washington, and Minnesota. Our side won. How about we propose a constitutional amendment banning opposite sex couples? How would you feel if I got to vote on your marriage?" She was speechless.

  6. Eric Ryan:

    Nala007 (or whatever your real hidden name is), the reason this person was "speechless" as you described her is probably because you are so far removed from reality and probably from nature with your bigotry against the 98%+ who are straight. It would cause anyone to become speechless that you would casually consider such nonsense.

  7. Especially Incognito:

    slom is not the lone republican.
    souki is a DINO and a dissident Democrat.

    Speechless, while some rant on.

  8. Mr. T:

    The founders of our nation intended separation of Church and State. If marriage is considered a fundamental religious concept, it is unconstitutional for the government to decide on what is considered a "marriage". If the intent of this bill is to give additional rights to gay couples, the bill should say so and not change the definition of "marriage".

  9. Nala007:

    No, she was speechless because she actually stopped and thought about what it would be like to have the public vote on her marriage.

  10. Especially Incognito:

    I have never seen anyone die and
    come back and tell me about it.
    In Heaven or Purgatory.

    It seems Death does not care
    what one is.

    It seems many are educated
    but being taught by the system,
    they think in the box and there are
    those who are not educated by the system
    and are considered different and bullied because
    they can think outside the box.
    Education teaches but does not
    teach common sense to weigh
    both sides and decide. Too much right
    or left and one cannot think straight.
    One thinks in circles and it comes back
    and bites them in their posterior.
    Their motive chewed upon.

  11. Ikaika:

    Here's a full collection of tweets, posts, and images from the Senate hearing, documenting both what was said in the Capitol Auditorium and in the public arena.


  12. Auto de Fe:

    "Let the People Vote" Thousands Rally Against Gay Marriage


  13. wondering:


    I've read through all of the senate judiciary testimony posted online. It appears that a substantial number of people submitted their testimony twice on different days, in a few instances multiple times, sometimes through what appears to be some kind of wordpress interface and other times directly. It would be helpful if the news media sifted through the testimony to give us the actual number of people who submitted testimony in support and in opposition to the bill as opposed to the number of testimonies submitted. I counted a Daniel Chinen having submitted testimony against the bill three times which makes me wonder, if you segregate those that are just opposed to a special session, how many different people actually submitted testimony against the bill substantively. Some people resubmitted their testimony on different days, it appears.

  14. Johnson:

    Great post, Kolea.

  15. Especially Incognito:

    Rants and less reviews.

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