Debate continues after decision by lawmakers
The vote Tuesday by Hawaii Senators ends the debate over same-sex marriage by lawmakers, but not by residents. Some still pushed their viewpoints before the bill goes to the Governor on Wednesday for his signature.
Tuesday evening, a small group gathered outside the New Town Recreation Center. They held signs and asked for a different outcome from lawmakers.
"The decision they made was not the decision that we want. We're not here in protest but demonstrate what we believe the governor and all politicians should adhere to: let all residents of this island vote," said Mililani resident Maile Anderson.
The group gathered outside a campaign town hall meeting held by Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
Supporters were also there, including one of the women involved in the original Hawaii lawsuit that started the national discussion over same-sex marriage.
While opposition to the measure grew loudest at the end of this fight, Genora Dancel said it has been here all along.
"The opposition was not any different than back 1993 when this all began. I am tired of hearing the opposing comments and so to me when the bill is signed into law, it will put this all to rest," said Dancel.
Her partner at the time, Ninia Baehr, is now in New York but has followed the events in Hawaii closely. She said she is here in spirit.
"When Genora and I applied for a marriage license, we actually thought we would get one. Genora always said we would win, I didn't know it would take this long. I wish Hawaii would have been first but I know people in Hawaii are ready now and I am so pleased to see it happen," said Baehr.
But not all were pleased, and while the governor tried to keep the focus on education and economic topics during the town-hall meeting, the issue of same-sex marriage kept being brought up.
Afterwards, the governor said he will sign the same-sex marriage bill because he believes it is fair.
"The bill walks the line, providing for equal opportunity while at the same time it shows respect for religious beliefs that oppose that point of view," said Abercrombie.
The Governor also defended the decision to hold the special session on the same-sex marriage bill. For nearly two weeks, it is all lawmakers have been working on. The Governor stated if the issue was held during the regular session many other important measures would have been pushed aside as lawmakers debated the issue of same-sex marriage.
KITV4 News will have LIVE coverage of the Governor signing the Marriage Equality bill on the air and online when it happens Wednesday morning.
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