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

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

EqualPublic testimony continued in the Hawaii House until 11:00 p.m. Saturday night. The hearing will resume on Monday, November 4, at 11:00 a.m. in the Capitol Auditorium. Monday’s hearing will continue to be broadcast live by Capitol TV and on Olelo Channel 53.

Religious groups opposed to marriage equality are attempting a "citizens filibuster," similar to what pro-choice advocates attempted in the state of Texas earlier this year: thousands have signed up to testify in an attempt to run out the clock by talking the bill to death in the time scheduled for the Special Session.

In an attempt to appease religious groups, the House is looking at amending the bill passed by the Senate chamber, House looks to Connecticut law as model for Hawaii (Honolulu Star-Advertiser, subscription required):

Twisted in knots about how to balance same-sex marriage with religious freedom, state House lawmakers are looking to Connecticut as a potential model.

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the state's marriage and civil unions laws violated equal protection because gay couples were denied the ability to marry, becoming the third state, after Massachusetts and California, to legalize gay marriage. Connecticut approved a law in 2009 implementing the court's ruling while adding a broad exemption to deal with religious liberty.

Some gay haters will never be satisfied. A state House Republican has asked for a temporary restraining order to block Gov. Neil Abercrombie from signing a same-sex marriage bill into law and prevent the state from issuing
marriage licenses to gay couples. Group asks court to stop governor from signing bill (Honolulu Star-Advertiser, subscription required). "Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto has set a hearing for Thursday on the request, which raises separation of powers issues between the branches of government.

Shin Inouye, a White House spokesman, said in an email to the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, that "While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered
by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and
equally, with dignity and respect." "As he has said, his personal view is that it's wrong to prevent couples
who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from
doing so. The president would welcome a decision by the state
Legislature to treat all Hawaiian couples equally."

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