HONOLULU — Hawaiian lawmakers passed a bill on Tuesday that legalized same-sex ‘marriage’ in the state, sending the measure to Governor Neil Abercrombie for signing.
The Hawaii Senate voted on the matter for the second time this month after the House passed an amended version on Friday 30-19. The House had allowed the public to speak on the matter over the course of five days, and over 24,000 written testimonies were submitted to the legislature.
Some characterized the week as a “filibuster” against the bill, as residents on both sides of the issue gathered outside the state house to express their views on the matter.
One legislator especially made headlines as she was applauded by pro-family advocates and blasted by homosexual proponents for opposing the measure. Representative Jo Jordan became tearful as she explained the irony of her reception, as Jordan is a lesbian.
“It was a rough day yesterday,” she told reporters on Saturday.
Jordan said that she voted against the bill because she believed it did not sufficiently protect religious freedom.
“I totally thought I was going to get blasted by the religious community. When I walked into the hearings, I was like, those faith-based guys are going to come out. And not one of them said anything. … They had no idea who I was, or my lifestyle,” she told Honolulu Magazine. “[But] I was blasted by the GLBT community on Saturday outside the door. That took me aback.”
Following clearance in the House on Friday, the bill went back to the Senate on Tuesday to vote on an amended version of the measure. It passed 19-4, sending the legislation to the governor’s desk for signing.
Barack Obama praised lawmakers in an official statement posted on the White House website.
“I’ve always been proud to have been born in Hawaii, and today’s vote makes me even prouder,” he stated. “By giving loving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry if they choose, Hawaii exemplifies the values we hold dear as a nation.”
However, as previously reported, thousands of Hawaii residents took to the streets to express opposition to the bill, some of which also spoke on the Senate floor.
“We estimate that 10,000 people were at the capitol … to oppose Senate action,” Jim Hochberg, president of Hawaii Family Advocates, told the Hawaii Reporter.
He noted that rallies took place in other cities throughout Hawaii as well.
“That means that potentially 10,000 to 12,000 residents of Hawaii took time out of their busy schedules to show the legislature that they understand that marriage should remain between one man and one woman,” Hochberg stated.
“[Homosexuality] is an abomination,” declared Hawaiian citizen Strider Didymous to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “[Those who walk this] deviant path pollute their own bodies and give themselves over to Satan.”
Others asked the legislature to allow the people to vote on the matter, rather than passing the measure by proxy.
Ceremonies are scheduled to begin on December 2nd. Governor Abercrombie is expected to the sign the bill into law as early as today.