Hawaii state Rep. Jo Jordan, who is
openly lesbian, on Friday voted against a gay marriage bill, becoming
the first openly gay lawmaker to vote against such legislation.
marriage bill clears Hawaii House.)
In an interview which took place before
Friday's vote, Jordan told Honolulu
magazine that she opposed the bill because it failed to meet “the
needs of all.”
“I had come to the decision that SB1
needed to [be] amended,” Jordan explained. “It wasn't protective
enough of everybody.”
“When you look at a measure, you have
to consider, how do we make this the golden standard, as bulletproof
as possible? My major concerns on SB1 was, first, the parental
maternal rights, 57-2C, that wasn't healthy. That definitely needed
to be fixed. The religious exemption was not adequate enough. And
the divorce portion in there is not fair. We're talking about
creating equality. They have made a provision here where you don't
have to domicile here. And I totally get what they're saying, but I
have some serious problems with that. We should at least make some
sort of domicile in our state, so they can file for divorce here.”
Jordan was referring to a section of
the proposed bill that allows gay couples who marry in Hawaii to file
for divorce in the state without taking up residency (usually 6
months) if the couple lives in a state without marriage equality.
However, the requirement is not waived for couples living in states
that allow gay couples to marry.
“I really am not happy with the
exemptions. Too narrow,” she added.
“I'm not here to protect the big
churches or the little churches, I'm saying we can't erode what's
currently out there. We don't want to scratch at the religious
protections at all, because if we don't create a measure that's
bulletproof or as close to bulletproof as possible, then the measure
will go to the courts. And they will interpret it however that may
be. A judge will make assumptions and make a ruling, and that will
become the law of the land. So you really want us to create the
The religious protections found in the
amended version of the bill approved by the House were reportedly
modeled after Connecticut's marriage law, considered to have the
nation's broadest religious exemptions.