A MAJOR INJUSTICE OCCURRED TODAY BEFORE THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE. THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WHO SIGNED UP TO TESTIFY "IN-PERSON" WERE DENIED AN OPPORTUNITY TO TESTIFY!
From Hawaii Christian Coalition
At noon, Senator Hee announced that if anyone was not present in the next 15 minutes to sign up to testify, they would not be heard. Thousands of people rushed to get their testimony in by the deadline of Sunday, Oct. 27 at 10:30 am and yet they were not allowed to speak!
Interestingly, the majority of the gay community and their supporters were all at the hearing this morning and had the ability to testify. Yet the faith-based community WHO WAS WORKING TODAY, WERE UNABLE TO HAVE ALL OF THEIR VOICES HEARD!
Thursday, Oct. 31 at 10:00 am will be the hearing before the House Judiciary and Finance Committees. My recommendation is to HAVE ALL OF OUR PEOPLE COME IN THE MORNING! WE NEED A STRONG SHOWING ON THURSDAY! The votes are more tenuous on the House so please, please, please, let's get our brothers and sisters out to testify!
The hearing notice has been posted http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/splsession.aspx?year=2013b (go to SB1 JUD/FIN).
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How was your testifying experience?
Tell us on Twitter at #iwanttransparency
Photo: Groups still waiting to testify after sign-ups closed early & many were turned away
From House Republican Caucus
As the special session opened on Monday, thousands of individuals submitted written testimony and visited the state Capitol in person to share their views on Senate Bill 1.
Unfortunately, efforts to speed things along have created an even more rushed and closed process than expected. The process was literally closed early afternoon when potential testifiers were turned away because of unnecessary and unfair time constraints. This is proof that the people of Hawaii need more time to participate than this special session is allowing.
In the end, the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor voted 5-2 to pass the bill unamended. The bill will next go to the full Senate for a floor vote and then to a hearing by the House on Thursday.
If you testified, did you have enough time to speak your mind?
Or were you turned away?
Are you satisfied with the process of this special session?
Use the Twitter hashtag #iwanttransparency to share your experience with state leaders.
We want to give you a chance to be heard. You have the right to fully participate in the legislative process – and that includes having ample time to review legislation, prepare testimony, make arrangements to visit the Capitol, and deliver sufficient testimony in person.
Efforts to maintain efficiency have exacerbated the already rushed nature of this session.
So that you can be aware of some of the ways in which legislators can rush or close the process, here are some examples of what happened:
Thank you to everyone who expressed interest in testifying today. We hope to see you again on Thursday at the House Judiciary and Finance Committee hearing and will continue to send updates throughout this flawed special session.
- Each testifier was allowed only one minute to speak;
- Even with strict time constraints, the committee changed the rules midday and turned away many potential testifiers;
- The bill will only be heard one time by the Senate and one time by the House;
- The bill itself was released only six days before the first public hearing, forcing interested parties to study brand new language and reeducate others of new content; and
- The special session was called unilaterally by Governor Abercrombie after expressing satisfaction that enough public debate had already taken place.
Capitol District Public Parking Locations for Testifiers - Interactive Map
Due to the large numbers of testifiers visiting the Capitol this week, carpooling and drop-offs are highly recommended. Details regarding parking locations, rates and time limits can be found at the interactive map at this link.
To view details on each parking location, simply zoom in on Honolulu and click on the blue dots surrounding the State Capitol (located at 415 S Beretania Street).
Information on each location is also shown in list form below the map.
Summary of Same-Sex Marriage Legislation - Senate Bill 1
What would this bill do?
Whose religious liberties does this bill NOT exempt?
- Legalize same-sex marriage in Hawaii and give same-sex married couples the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities of opposite-sex married couples, including parentage rights.
Who is exempted under this bill?
- Religious organizations that make a profit by allowing the general public to use their facilities or grounds for marriage ceremonies (This bill does not attempt to explain what would be considered "profit.");
- Small business owners who are asked to personally provide marriage-related services such as planning, food catering, photography, etc.;
- Government employees who would be processing same-sex marriage applications; and
- Judges who are asked to officiate at a same-sex marriage ceremony.
- Religious solemnizers who are licensed by the State to perform marriage ceremonies, including clergy, ministers, priests and rabbis, among others; and
- Religious organizations that do not profit by allowing the general public to use its facilities or grounds for marriage ceremonies and those that merely accept donations from the public, provide religious services to the public, or otherwise allow the public to enter their premises.
Download a copy of this "How to Testify" printable flyer here!
How to testify on Senate Bill 1?
Where and when do I testify?
- Thursday, October 31st at 10:00 am House Joint Judiciary/Finance committees, Reps. Rhoads & Luke (Chairs); Hawaii State Capitol Auditorium (basement level)
How do I sign up to testify?
In order to be called to testify, you should submit written testimony at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. Testimony can be submitted via email, mail, fax or in person. See below for contact information. It is recommend that you plan to testify in person.
Tips for submitting effective testimony:
What can I expect at the committee hearing?
- Your written testimony can be any length; however, short and to-the-point is more effective in general. You should always state your position at the top of the testimony along with your name.
- Your verbal testimony will be limited to two minutes or less. It does not have to be the same as the written testimony and can just highlight important points.
- Written testimony should be properly headed. See the “TESTIMONY HEADERS” box for sample headers for the Senate and House hearings.
- Written testimony should include your name, address, and opposition.
- All testimony is most effective when it is a personal and heartfelt message of how this will affect you, your family, and your community.
Once you submit written testimony, you should plan to attend the committee hearing. While there is no rule that governs the order of testimony, generally the first to testify are the Governor, State departments and other impacted organizations followed by individuals. Your name will be called when it is your turn. Be prepared to spend several hours waiting.
Contact Information to Submit Testimony
Karl Rhoads, Chair House Judiciary Committee &
Sylvia Luke, Chair House Finance Committee
VIA MAIL: Hawaii State Capitol, Room 302
415 S. Beretania Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
VIA FAX: (808) 586-6189
VIA EMAIL: JUDSStestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov
IN PERSON: Hawaii State Capitol, Room 302