HI House Committees advance marriage bill to full House floor

Last night, after reviewing thousands of testimonies from the people of Hawaii and listening to five straight days of testimony, much from opponents of the freedom to marry who have attempted to stall the lawmaking process, the Hawaii House Committees on Judiciary and Finance voted overwhelmingly in favor of the freedom to marry. The bill now moves to a second reading in the House, scheduled for 3pm EST today (10am HST). 

Hawaii United for Marriage leaders applauded the Committees on the decisive vote and spoke out against opponents of the freedom to marry who have worked to stall passage of the bill this week. 

Jacce Mikulanec, board member of the Japanese American Citizens League and a founding member of Hawaii United for Marriage, explained:

No one can say this process has been rushed. After thoroughly reviewing the arguments on all sides, it’s time for lawmakers to do the job they were elected to do. The fact is that a silent majority in our community support marriage equality because they understand that it’s time to end discrimination against gay and lesbian couples in Hawaii.

Lois Perrin, ACLU-Hawaii Legal Director and a founding member of Hawaii United for Marriage, added: 

Now that the marathon committee hearing is over, lawmakers are left with a very simple choice: Do we want a Hawaii that condones discrimination by one group of people against another group of people, or do we want a Hawaii that treats all people with fairness and respect—no matter what their religion and no matter who they love.

It's a big month for the freedom to marry in Hawaii. HI Governor Neil Abercrombie has convened a Special Session for the purpose of passing the marriage bill that gained momentum earlier this year. Marriage supporters across the state, led by Hawaii United for Marriage, have been working hard to show legislators in Hawaii that it's time for marriage. Last Wednesday, the bill was approved with overwhelming support in the Senate. 

Learn more about the freedom to marry in Hawaii HERE.