Hawaii police union leader: ‘You would have to kill me’ to enforce gay marriage

Tenari Maafala

Tenari Maafala

HONOLULU — The president of Hawaii‘s police union testified Monday before a joint hearing in the state legislature on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, and said he would never enforce such a law.

“You would have to kill me,” Tenari Maafala told a panel of House lawmakers, reported Honolulu Civil Beat.

Tenari Maafala

Tenari Maafala

“You would have to kill me to disrespect and dishonor my father in heaven,” he said. “You would have to kill me to impose these types of laws upon my children and my nieces and my nephews. That’s what I’m saying.”

Maafala, who is president of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers and an officer with the Honolulu Police Department, said same-sex marriage is contrary to his religious views and he opposes the measure.

He said denying gay couples the right to marry is not discrimination if it’s against your beliefs.

Testimony before two House committees entered its fifth day Tuesday under tighter rule after some people used a registration list to speak for others.

Rep. Sylvia Luke, chairwoman of the House Finance Committee, told reporters Monday that the judiciary and finance committees were allowing people to only testify for themselves and checking identifications.

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The tighter regulations come after a speaker registration list went missing from outside the auditorium late Saturday, then was used by some people to testify for registrants who were called but not present, Luke said.

Some opponents of the bill have encouraged prolonging the hearings as much as possible through social media posts and other means, hoping to show forceful public pressure and sway lawmakers who might be less than firm in their support for the bill.

The bill passed easily in the state Senate last week, but is expected to be amended and see a closer vote in the House, which has seven Republicans and some Democrats who do not support same-sex marriage.

Observers still expect the bill to pass in the House, and if so, could be signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie as early as this week.

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