Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
With a Democratic president bent on promoting alternative sexual lifestyles everywhere he goes, it’s no surprise that a number of states in recent years have moved to redefine marriage to include homosexuals, abandoning the bedrock family unit on which society has been based for millennia.
Hawaii lawmakers are meeting in a special session this week called by Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie to try to fall into line with about a dozen other states that already have made the move.
But the legislators won’t be able to say they were doing the will of their constituents, because thousands are lining up to testify against the move.
Each person will have two minutes to talk, so the hearing, under way for several days already, is expected to continue for several more, at about 30 voters per hour.
McDermott said that by his count, Hawaiians oppose the redefinition of marriage 96-4.
He told WND the governor opened the door for the backlash when he announced the special legislative session. It was announced a month in advance so lawmakers could rearrange their schedules.
That gave opponents a month to assemble their opposition. The first strategy session included a handful of people, the second more than double, and soon hundreds became involved.
He said the huge flaw in proponents’ arguments is that they are comparing being homosexual to being interned during World War II for being Japanese or being black.
Members of those communities have expressed outrage that sexual habits would be likened to the persecution of innocent Japanese during World War II.
A huge crowd showed up to rally against the plan and then to sign up to speak to lawmakers.
He said even some Democrats are expressing concern that what has happened in California will appear in Hawaii should the change be made. In California, the state has adopted a long list of pro-homosexual requirements for public schools.
The most recent California measure, which is under challenge, would require schools to allow young boys and girls to determine their “gender preference” and use corresponding restrooms and locker rooms.
If the legislature chooses the dramatic social revision, the road ahead still may not be clear, as McDermott has filed a lawsuit over the proposed change.
He noted that in 1998, voters in Hawaii approved a constitutional amendment that the lawmakers have the right to preserve marriage. Voters understood at the time that marriage meant a relationship between two people of the opposite sex.
“The governor and many legislators now claim that the meaning of the issue presented on the 1998 ballot gave the state legislature the power to make all future decisions on same sex marriage,” he said.
But he insists “the adopted constitution amendment, and official instructions from the office of elections, clearly set limits on legislative authority.”
He said “people clearly ‘thought’ they were voting on a legal definition of marriage as between opposite sexes only. According to settled law, the people’s perception of the meaning of a constitutional vote carries precedence over any other subordinate statutory consideration.”
McDermott explained the official office of elections voter instructions stated a yes vote “would add a new provision to the constitution that would give the Legislature the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples ONLY.”
“I was there in 1998 as a member of the state House … a claim few in office today can make. The people thought they were answering the question once and for all. However, the horrible language that was foisted upon the people by the Senate Judiciary committee at the time left us with no choice but to accept the amendment. This explains the mess we are in today,” McDermott said.
“The people spoke on this issue in 1998 in a clear voice. Conceding this decision to the legislature is not what they want as confirmed by a recent survey conducted by QEV Analytics which showed that 70 percent of Hawaii’s voters believed that the definition of marriage is something that the people should decide. So, let them decide again,” he said.
McDermott related that should the same-sex recognition be allowed, as has happened elsewhere, demands will follow for polygamy and other definitions of marriage.
“When I asked the governor, ‘Based on your reasoning that same-sex marriage is a civil right, then how can you disenfranchise a bisexual from marrying the people he/she loves? I was shocked by his response: ‘I fully expect a lawsuit to be filed in about a year,’” McDermott said.