Main | Monday, October 28, 2013

Hawaii Report: The Votes Are There

According to a whip count done by Hawaii News Now, there are just enough votes for same-sex marriage to pass in the state House.
Senate leadership says the bill is expected to pass 21-4, but the real question has always been if the same-sex marriage bill will have the 26 votes it needs to pass in the House. Hawaii News Now surveyed lawmakers last week. 27 Representatives tell us they plan to vote yes. Representative Jo Jordan is undecided. "How can I say I'm a supporter or not a supporter when I can't tell you what that final bill is going to read? If I say I support something right now and I'm not palatable with that thing— how am I going to take back those words? If I say right now I'm not supportive of it and I am supportive of it in the end, how am I going to do that? As legislators we should be able to argue our stance — if my constituency supports it or not supports it, I should be able to argue that," described Jordan. Jordan estimates about 75% of the constituents she's heard from have indicated they support same-sex marriage, but she's concerned not everyone feels like they have been given a chance to participate in the process.
Seventeen House reps say they plan to vote no. Another seven say they remain undecided. If amendments to the current bill are presented, the earliest day for passage will be November 6th. Marriages could commence by November 18th.

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