With one week left before a special session that could legalize same-sex marriage, opponents are ramping up their lobbying efforts. A new TV ad was released Monday to state their case.
The public can expect a lot of lobbying through rallies and sign waving, but also a good amount of money from outside sources.
"The heritage of Hawaii's people is rooted in family, mothers, and fathers united in marriage caring for each other," the commercial stated.
The commercial, which started airing Monday on the major networks as well as cable news channels, was paid for by the non-profit group Hawaii Family Advocates, which is part of the Coalition to Let the People Decide on Marriage.
"Which is made up of about 50 different interest groups in town that do not want to redefine marriage through a legislative process. We want to vote on it through a constitutional amendment," Hawaii Family Advocates President Jim Hochberg said.
But the group is also getting funding from a mainland group called National Organization for Marriage. The message is put the same-sex marriage issue on a ballot and let the voters decide.
"When marriage is redefined, people and families are punished for not agreeing we can preserve the traditions of our island ohana by preserving marriage," the commercial stated.
Same-sex marriage advocates are also getting some outside help from organizations such as Freedom To Marry, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Human Rights Campaign.
"Calling all of our friends in the communities around the state, urging to get out and make their voices known and let their legislators know to vote in support of marriage equality," said Jacce Mikulanec with Hawaii United for Marriage.
With a special session called by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to have a hearing on the issue, the odds are in favor of legislators allowing same-sex marriage and would join 14 other states in the country.
But advocates aren't taking anything for granted. So will they have their own TV commercial to support their case?
"I think that's yet to be seen. We'll see what happens in the next couple of weeks, but there'll be a lot of advocacy going on. So we'll see where we end up," Mikulanec said.
Same-sex marriage advocates say the amount of money from mainland organizations has been moderate. As for traditional marriage groups?
"You'll be able to see that in Jan. 31 [because] that's when we all have to file our ethics reports," Hochberg said.
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