During a debate on a gay marriage bill
in the Hawaii House, Rep. Gene Ward compared the bill's impact to
According to the Star Advertiser,
Ward “compared the potential impact of marriage equality to the
Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.”
Ward, a Republican and the House's
minority leader, made his remarks Wednesday near the end of a
day-long session in which members advanced the bill. A final House
vote is expected to take place Friday.
House gives initial nod to gay marriage bill.)
Ward also attempted to derail the
measure with three amendments, all of which were rejected.
One of the amendments sought to allow
parents and teachers to opt out of instruction on homosexuality.
Ward said that it was needed to “inoculate” children from such
teachings. Another would add a “conscience exemption” for
individuals. Ward's final amendment sought to exempt churches from
the state's public accommodations law. All three amendments were
defeated by voice vote.
House members are expected on Friday to
approve a version of the marriage bill amended in committee to expand
religious exemptions to include “for profit” organizations. If
the bill is approved, it will return to the Senate, which approved
late last month the original version of the bill.
Rep. Jo Jordan votes against Hawaii gay marriage bill.)