Same-sex marriage bill advances

Published On: Dec 24 2013 10:03:01 AM HST   Updated On: Nov 06 2013 06:22:34 AM HST

After days of talking, it was time for voting over Hawaii's same-sex marriage bill on Tuesday.

Dozens of House Representatives had listened to supporters and opponents, then showed how they felt about the measure by casting their vote.

Click here to watch Paul Drewes' report.

The same-sex marriage bill advanced through the house, as a pair of House committees voted 18 to 12 in favor of it.

Around the Capitol, supporters greeted the news with cheers,
while those against reacted with chants calling for lawmakers to again let the people vote over this issue.

During five days of testimony this bill generated a lot of numbers:

57 - the number of hours of testimony; 5,128 - the number of residents who signed up to speak; 24,000 - the number of written testimonies submitted.

Even with all that input, some still felt their voices were not heard by lawmakers.

"They really didn't listen to the people. We were asking for more time to give this bill the attention it deserved. They made a few amendments that I am happy with," said Kahuku resident Mimo Pearl.

One amendments broadened the religious exemptions, another deleted the provision over parental rightsand a third moved the date same-sex marriage ceremonies could begin to Dec. 2.

During all of the testimony and voting here in Hawaii another number has popped up: 15 - the number of states which now approve gay marriage.

"I know that Illinois just passed itand they are the 15th. I was hoping we would be the 15th, but 16th, as long as it passes I'm OK with that," said Kapolei resident Queenie Toilolo.

Others are not OK with the way lawmakers have been votingand many will remember how legislators voted next year.

"I do see that people are nervous and threatening legislators if they didn't vote their particular line of reasoning," said Honolulu resident Juliet Begley.

"We want to see who is voting for it and who is against it, because we are already gearing up for the 2014 elections," said Mililani resident Margaret Scow.

The measure will get a second reading Wednesday morning when it is expected to get a full vote by the House.

PHOTOS: Special session on same-sex marriage

Click here to see photos from the special session.


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