From the desk of Executive Director Vanessa Chong:
You have all been remarkable advocates in coming out to support marriage equality and we are closing in on securing justice for all Hawai`i `ohana.
Tomorrow – Your Safety Our Priority – Sergeant at Arms Memo Coming
- Even though Equality Hawaii has the permit for the Capitol tomorrow, we expect some opponents to disregard this and continue their bullying tactics. We now know that the opposition is shifting all their turn out to tomorrow.
- We want safety for ALL people coming and want peaceful expression of all voices.
- We have met with the sergeant-at-arms and conveyed our concerns which they share. As a result of our efforts, we are expecting— by end of 11/7/13— a memo from the sergeant-at-arms to the public about the protocol for tomorrow. This is good news.
- We realize some of opponents will continue to be disruptive and disrespectful. However, having the Capitol security commit to a plan boosts our ability to keep everyone safe. The opposition is being put on notice about this.
Likely aspects of security protocol (check back for official notice — and we’ll post widely)
- advocates and opponents each having their own space (either Beretania or ocean-side) — groups then switch areas when Senate convenes
- there will be barrier in-between to prevent shoving
- entrance to gallery – using both sides, will be ‘taking turns’ ensuring fair access
Arrive Early and Check-in at Hospitality Tent
Asking advocates to arrive early if you want to enter the chambers, only 180 seats available. Overflow crowd likely. Hawaii United for Marriage will be on site from 6:00 a.m., hospitality tent up from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Hearing is planned to begin at 10:00 a.m. While we cannot guarantee safety, there are pro-active steps we are taking including:
- ACLU providing security for supporters — will be visible at hospitality tent
- hospitality tent set up for check-in, refreshments, make signs, get support
- ACLU, GLBT Caucus and HUM staff and other experienced allies will be out in full force helping with hot spots, supporting folks
- all our allies are being asked to turn out for this one
- videographer on site to document the day (and also to preserve footage for later follow up as needed)
We are deeply grateful for all your efforts and just want to be sure we do our best to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Wear pride colors & bring sunscreen, hat and your positive energy!
See you tomorrow!