Final House same-sex vote draws hundreds
It started with dueling anthems and then escalated into dueling chants of “let the people vote,” and “marriage equality now.”
The scene struck a chord with former legislator Jim Shon who happened to cross the rotunda on his way back from a meeting.
Shon lost a bid for re-election in 1997 because of his support for the same-sex issue.
“That's right. It's kind of an interesting validation on a stand I took a long time ago," said Rep. Jim Shon.
And for Jermone Raynos, it too brought back a flood of memories.
Raynos rallied here two decades ago.
"Small baby steps at the time. We have come a long way since and we have waited a long time for this day. I've got chicken skin I am proud, proud, proud to see all this support," said Jerome Raynos.
Raynos hopes to get married to his partner of 17 years if the bill becomes law next month.
Another couple who was recently married in Massachucetts said because their union isn't recognized here, if ever they want to divorce, one of them would have to move back to the mainland for six months to dissolve the union.
"Talk about equality. We should have the right to get married, and the right to get divorced too," said Tiana Wilkinson.
The pastor of a East Oahu Lutheran church which conducts commercial weddings, isn’t worried about opening its venue to same sex couples.
"It does not threaten us at all. We are a welcoming place. We would have no problem at all," said Pastor Tim Mason of Calvary-By-The-Sea Church.
Another couple signwaving in front of the Capitol does have a problem. They're spurred to action because they believe it's important for their children’s future.
"This isn't something I planned and I am not an activist but when it goes against my fundamental beliefs. I think you have to act and that is why I am down here," said Tineille Duduoit.
"We are going to support this any way and go against this to make sure this gets shot down," said Victor Manuel Ramos.
"If it passes and becomes law, we will keep fighting. If you think about it. They would still fight too. This will be an ongoing war. I dont like saying that ,but is one issue one topic that is never going to stop." said William Kunia of Hope Chapel Nanakuli.
"I will come back. This is not done. This is not done yet,"said Kauilani Ramos.
Not done yet, by a long shot.
But enough people care deeply about the issue and are here taking part in the buildup to a historic and contentious vote.
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