Hawaii Senate Committee Advances Marriage Equality Legislation

The Hawaii legislature’s special session for marriage equality is already advancing; after a full day of testimony Monday, the state Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee voted 5–2 to advance the bill. Some 1,000 people signed up to testify, though it seems not that many people actually did. The now advances to the Senate, where it is expected to pass.

Meanwhile, the Hawaii House Judiciary and Finance committees has scheduled a hearing for Thursday morning to begin its consideration of the bill. According to Hawaii News Now, the House also has the votes it needs to pass the bill, with at least one to spare.

Rhetoric from opponents of the bill has been incredibly incendiary, especially from the Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA), which bills itself as “the conscience of the Republican party.” A radio ad the group is running suggests that marriage equality will “normalize all sorts of deviant behavior,” even suggesting that churches will be forced to marry same-sex couples. HIRA is also distributing pamphlets from Massachusetts hate group MassResistance, which warn of kids being taught about same-sex marriage in school and concluding that “homosexuals’ relationships are fundamentally dysfunctional.”

The National Organization for Marriage is also running a television ad claiming that if Hawaii lawmakers pass marriage equality, they’d be “damaging our people.” Watch it: