HONOLULU – The State House of Representatives voted tonight to pass SB1
HD1 Relating to Equal Rights.
Gov. Abercrombie stated:
“I commend the House of Representatives for taking this historic vote to
move justice and equality forward.
“After more than 50 hours of public testimony from thousands of testifiers
on both sides of the issue, evaluating dozens of amendments, and
deliberating procedures through hours of floor debates, the House passed
this significant bill, which directly creates a balance between marriage
equity for same-sex couples and protects our First Amendment freedoms for religious organizations.
“I applaud Speaker Souki, Judiciary Chair Rhoads, Finance Chair Luke,
Majority Leader Saiki and the rest of the leadership team for their
patience, fairness and hard work in shepherding this bill through the
“I am confident that the Senate will address the bill in the same spirit.
I look forward to a successful conclusion to this major step in affirming
everyone?s civil rights.”
Honolulu, Hawaii – After roundtable discussions with leaders on both sides of the marriage equality issue, House Sergeant-At-Arms Kevin Kuroda today discussed the operational logistics for tomorrow’s third reading vote on SB1 HD1 at the State Capitol. At the afternoon press conference, Kuroda was joined by representatives from those in support and opposition of the issue including Lois Perrin (ACLU), and Pastors Wayne Cordeiro (New Hope Oahu) and Allen Cardines (New Hope Nanakuli).
To ensure a safe and fair environment for the public and others, all parties have agreed to share available space within the Capitol Rotunda, inside the House Gallery, and along Beretania Street.
By Jeff King
“The final 600.” Today at 11 a.m., the State Capitol Aditorium will be filled with members of the public, representatives of both sides of the contentious issue of same sex-marriage, and members of the House Juducuary and Finance Committees, to hear testimony.
Originally, upwards of 5,000 people had signed up to speak their piece – in two minutes each – to try to sway lawmakers toward their side of the issue. Testimony began Thursday, ran all day – same Friday. Ten hours’ worth of testimony took place Saturday. Sunday was a day of rest – at least indoors. Public demonstrations took to sidewalks and pulpits Sunday.
Today, at 11 a.m., the passion resumes. There are 600 more two-minute speeches pending. The math says that equals 10 more hours of voter input before lawmakers in the State House vote on Senate Bill 1: relating to same-sex marriage.
No speculation has been issued by the committee chair of either seated assembly as to whether or not the House will vote tonight. Gov. Neil Abercrombie has indicated he would sign a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry in Hawai’i, and have all the rights and obligations currently afforded only to traditioal male-female married couples.
By William Nhieu
Honolulu, Hawaii – To accommodate the expected high numbers of people wishing to testify on SB1 and to allow testifiers to plan their time accordingly, the House Judiciary and Finance Committees plan to begin the public hearing at 10am and end at midnight. At that time if there are people who signed up to testify still waiting to speak, the hearing will be continued on Friday, November 1 at a time to be determined.
Due to the anticipated high volume of testifiers for the October 31, 2013 House hearing on SB1 relating to equal rights, the Judiciary and Finance Committees will assign registration numbers to people who submit testimony and wish to testify in-person. Those who submit testimony online and wish to testify at the hearing will receive an email prior to the hearing with their registration number. Those who submit their testimony in person should go to the House Chief Clerk’s Office (Room 027) where they will be assigned a number at that time.
Online testimony can be submitted at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx.
The numbering system is being implemented to more efficiently assist the flow of people and their testimony during the hearing. It will also allow testifiers to know where they are on the testimony list and plan their presence accordingly.
The committees are waiving the 24 hour deadline for submission of testimony which will be accepted before and during the October 31 hearing.
For additional assistance on the day of the hearing, an information booth will be available outside of the capitol auditorium.
HONOLULU — The Coast Guard is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a mariner last seen departing Ala Wai boat harbor Thursday evening.
Greg Stephanoff departed the Ala Wai boat harbor alone on his 42-foot Catalina Sloop, C:Drive, at approximately 8 p.m. Thursday. His destination was unknown and he has not been heard from since.
Stephanoff’s vessel is white with a grey canvas dodger over the cockpit. Stephanoff is 60 years old, approximately five feet eleven inches tall and 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing khaki cargo shorts and a beige aloha shirt.
Stephanoff mentioned to friends wanting to sail to Hanalei Bay on the north shore of Kauai, but a float plan was not filed.
The Coast Guard is asking all mariners to report any sightings to the Coast Guard over VHF marine radio channel 16 or to contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.
By Jeff King
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz announced the Department of Health & Human Services’ (DHHS) Administration for Children and Families will award $157,142 for the Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC) in Honolulu on O’ahu where instances of domestic violence are the highest in the state. Schatz wrote a letter in support of this grant to DHHS in August highlighting the valuable protections and services that DVAC provides.
The DVAC currently serves the Island of O’ahu, including 315,000 people on the Leeward Coast, and assists large communities of traditionally underserved populations, in particular women of Native Hawaiian and Filipino descent. The funding will go towards establishing the Ho’oikaika ‘Ohana Program (the Strengthen the Family Program), which will establish a group of community leaders, survivors, cultural experts and navigators, and specialists in the field of treating traumatic events in order to better assess and define the needs of the historically underserved Native Hawaiian community.
“This grant will allow the Domestic Violence Action Center on Oahu to design culturally specific program services for Native Hawaiian survivors and their families, which is a critical step towards interrupting the cycle of violence,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz. “The effects of domestic violence do not end with the victim. Violence hurts our families, children, and communities. The DVAC continues to do excellent work, and I know that these funds will have a positive impact on one of our traditionally underserved communities.”
As one of his first acts in the U.S. Senate, Schatz cosponsored legislation reauthorizing the Violence against Women Act, which President Obama signed into law earlier this year. The bill made significant improvements to the law by strengthening sexual assault prevention and broadening the communities it protects.
“Senator Schatz actively worked with his colleagues for the successful reauthorization of VAWA, and these funds are an extension of his efforts,” said Nanci Kreidman, CEO of the Domestic Violence Action Center. “Upon his swearing in, Senator Schatz immediately began collaborating with the community, policy makers and Hawai‘i government entities. By working to bring these resources to Hawai‘i, he is helping to ensure that the Native Hawaiian community will receive the expertise and focus needed to address domestic violence.”
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