Same-sex marriage drama erupts on House floor

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:49:54 AM HST
Updated On: Oct 30 2013 07:40:23 AM HST

Another emotional day at the state capitol. Fallout over the same sex marriage issue spilled out on the house floor.

HONOLULU -

It's only day two of the special session, but Republicans calling for the end to a bi-partisan coalition created the drama-of-the-day.

'I would like the leadership team to be dissolved. I would like to give back the vice-chairmanships to the majority. You can have them. It has polluted us. It has clouded our vision to provide the ying and yang of the democratic process," said Rep. Bob McDermott.

McDermott is hoping to replace marriage equality supporter Cynthia Thielen, who sits on the Judiciary committee, with Rep. Richard Fale, who's for traditional marriage.

Click here to watch Catherine Cruz's report.

"I believe some of these social conservatives have done more to our party than the Democrats do and Mr. Speaker I refuse to step down," said Thielen.

McDermott is upset that Democrats got the governor to call a special session without giving a heads up to minority leaders.

In his frustration, he spoke directly to Speaker Joe Souki. 

"Didn't come see me. Didn't come see our caucus.We were part of the governing caucus that gave you the gavel, that gave you your leadership. We are insulted. I find it offensive the constituents find it offensive. People who showed up yesterday, the thousands of them find it  offense. Hasn’t been good for you. Hasn’t been good for us," said McDermott.

McDermott's resolution called for replacing minority leader Aaron Ling Johanson with Rep. Gene Ward and triggered a floor feud that spun out of control.

"Let's not be truthful. You switched out Rep. Rida Cabinilla who is a no vote on same-sex marriage, with Denny Coffman who is a yes vote on same-sex. Let’s talk the truth," said Ward.

“I am going to call you out-of-order," said Speaker Souki.

“Do so, sir,” said Ward.

“You are out of order,” said Souki.

"Thank you very much. Do you want  the sergant-of arms to remove me? I want to finish my speech," said Ward.

In the end, Ward did not get ejected, but the resolution was shot down.

House majority leader Scott Saiki said Tuesday the House bills calling for lawmakers to take the same-sex issue to voters introduced this week would not be acted on.

And that the outcome of Tuesday's vote would likely mirror the vote on the Senate equality bill.

"I think this showing what the level of support and the level of opposition is. Those who are opposed are looking at procedural reasons now, before the issue is before us for a vote," said Saiki.

The second day of the session is providing a snapshot of painful politics in a divided House.

PHOTOS: Special session on same-sex marriage

Click here to see more photos from the special session.

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