Monday’s equal marriage debate in the House of Representatives in the US state of Hawaii saw over 5,000 testify both for and against equal marriage, but one police officer shocked with his statement against.
The bill was taken to the Hawaii House on Thursday and Friday, where more than 5,000 members of the public signed up to speak before two committees.Testimony went on until 11pm on Saturday, and over 40 hours of testimony was heard.
There were reports of suspicious activity at Saturday night’s hearing, however, and officials had to change procedure following reports of some people speaking twice, and people taking other people’s turns.
Tenari Maafala, the President of Hawaii’s police union and an active police officer with the Honolulu Police Department, said he would never enforce an equal marriage law if it were passed in the state.
He said: “You would have to kill me”.
Continuing, he said that equal marriage went against his religious beliefs, and said: “I stand by my beliefs.”
Maafala went on to say that the state should be addressing homelessness and drugs, rather than same-sex marriage, and said that, if someone’s beliefs clash with equal marriage, then it does not amount to discrimination if they refuse.
President Barack Obama, who was recently named “hero of Russia’s gay rights movement” by The Moscow Times, has shown his support for the Marriage Equality Act, calling it a matter of “dignity and respect.”