As Hawaiian lawmakers and residents entered their fourth day of marathon testimony on the Marriage Equality Act Monday, opponents of extending the freedom to marry to gay and lesbian couples in Hawaii vastly outnumbered those in favor of marriage equality.
More than 5,000 people had signed up to testify on Senate Bill 1 before the House Judiciary Commitee as of Tuesday, and while a precise breakdown of support and opposition is hard to calculate, most of those opposed have cited religious reasons for their opposition, notes the Honolulu Civil Beat.
But one piece of particularly inflammatory testimony has roused the ire of LGBT observers.
Tenari Maafala, an active-duty police officer who is also the president of Hawaii's police union, told state representatives that as a law enforcement official, he's obligated to enforce state law, but if marriage equality passes in the Aloha State, he won't be able to do that.
"The bottom line is this," said Maafala, 52, a self-described Hawaiian Samoan. "The day I retire, and bills like this are introduced, I will never, ever, honor such law. You would have to kill me to disrespect and dishonor my father in heaven; You would have to kill me to impose these types of laws upon my children and my nieces and my nephews."
Members of Hawaii's House Judiciary Committee have heard more than 13 hours of testimony as of Monday, reports Hawaii News Now, with at least 2,000 additional constituents who've signed up yet to testify.
Despite the overwhelming amount of testimony in opposition, the Marriage Equality Act is expected to pass the House, at which point it will go to Democratic governor Neil Abercrombie, who has promised to sign the bill into law.
Watch Maafala's comments below.