(Update) Hawaii Special Session for SB1 – Hawaii Marriage Equity Act: debate continues in the House


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

EqualReligious conservatives, taking full
advantage of the state House's commitment to hear from everyone on gay
marriage, have deliberately sought to prolong a hearing before the House
Judiciary Committee and the House Finance Committee in a strategy of a "citizens filibuster" of the bill. Gay-marriage opponents stall hearing (Honolulu Star-Advertiser, subscription required).

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports, Hawaii gay marriage hearing stretches into 4th day:

Two Hawaii House committees considering a bill to legalize gay marriage are tightening rules on testimony at a joint hearing after some
people used a [stolen] registration list to speak for others.

Rep. Sylvia Luke, chairwoman of the House Finance Committee, told reporters Monday that the judiciary and finance committees were allowing people to only testify for themselves and checking identifications.

The tighter regulations come after a speaker registration list went missing from outside the auditorium late Saturday, then was used by some people to testify for registrants who were called but not present, Luke said.

Among other hiccups, that led to some people testifying more than once.

“People were being encouraged to trade numbers or testify on other people’s behalf,” Luke said. “The whole point of oral testimony is for
legislators to ask the individual testifier questions. If you’re testifying on behalf of somebody else, it’s difficult to ask that person questions.”

Testimony entered its fourth day on Monday. When they
started, lawmakers had already heard 41 hours of testimony and called 4,600 people of 5,181 signed up. The committees plan to call the nearly 600 people left, then go back and call anyone who missed their number the first time around. The bill passed the state Senate last week. It could pass two more readings in the House and be signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie as early as this week.

 The hearings will continue to be broadcast live by Capitol TV and on Olelo Channel 53.