Hawaii Rep. Bob McDermott, who is
challenging the state's recent gay marriage law, insists he's not “a
bigot, a hater, a homophobe, or ignorant.”
McDermott, a Republican, claims that
the law – which took effect on Monday – conflicts with a 1998
voter-approved constitutional amendment The amendment, McDermott
argues, only allows the Legislature to define marriage as a
A day after Democratic Governor Neil
Abercrombie signed the marriage bill, a judge rejected McDermott's
assertions that the law violates the Hawaii Constitution.
Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto said
that the Legislature has an inherent right to define marriage through
the enactment of statutes, including allowing same-sex marriage as it
Undeterred, McDermott filed a new
motion, which is scheduled to be heard on January 13.
Appearing on SiriusXM
Progress, McDermott suggested that his lawyer was the reason why
his argument did not carry the day in court.
“I had a wonderful attorney, a
brilliant guy,” McDermott told Michelangelo Signorile. “But he
wasn't a constitutional attorney. He was a real estate attorney. A
great guy, a real estate attorney, but not a constitutional expert.
We're saying [to the judge], 'Your honor, you made a mistake.'”
He added that he wanted to “inoculate”
himself from being called “a bigot, a hater, a homophobe, or
ignorant” by sharing that he and his wife once took in a
transgender relative and that he has previously worked with gay
“Thirty years ago, my wife and I took
in her cousin, who had no place to go and he was a transvestite. …
I want to inoculate myself so I'm not called a bigot, a hater, a
homophobe, or ignorant, because I've gotten a lot of that lately. In
2000, I had an openly male homosexual work for me on my staff. This
last legislative session I was the only one in the building who had
an openly male homosexual who was HIV positive working for him. This
poor guy, he's a friend of mine.”
On why he believes gay couples should
be denied marriage, McDermott asserted that gay couples do not need
marriage because they cannot procreate.
“The state's compelling interest in
marriage is for the welfare and care of the children. … That's the
reason the state got involved in marriage. … Homosexual couples
cannot create children. It's impossible,” he said.