A Hawaiian lesbian legislator has garnered national headlines last week for her decision to vote against a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the last state to join the Union.
Representative Jo Jordan is reportedly the first openly gay lawmaker in the United States to vote against a proposed legislation legalizing gay marriage.
Jordan's chief reason for opposing the legislation, Senate Bill 1, was that she believed the measure did not adequately protect religious liberty, as she explained in an interview with local media.
"The religious exemption was not adequate enough…I really am not happy with the exemptions. Too narrow," said Jordan to Honolulu Magazine
"I'm not here to protect the big churches or the little churches, I'm saying we can't erode what's currently out there. We don't want to scratch at the religious protections at all, because if we don't create a measure that's bulletproof, or as close to bulletproof as possible, then the measure will go to the courts."
Jordan also explained to Honolulu Magazine that for deciding to vote against SB 1 she was "blasted" by her peers in the LGBT community.
"I was blasted by the GLBT community on Saturday, outside the door. That took me aback. At the time, I hadn't stated my position, and I was still undecided," said Jordan.
"Maybe they feel they've been suppressed for so long that they no longer can contain it and they are just going to lash out at anything without thinking first. But I have to keep that faith to help me not take it personally."
Years before any state in the U.S. had legalized same-sex marriage, Hawaii had debated efforts to legally recognize same-sex unions. Past efforts have fallen short of success.
Last month, the Hawaiian Senate passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in a vote of 20 yeas to 4 nays. Gov. Neil Abercrombie has stated he will sign the bill once it passes the Legislature.
Last week, the Hawaii House of Representatives passed SB 1 in a vote of 30 ayes to 19 nays, with two lawmakers abstaining.
Because the House made some changes to the legislation, the Senate will have to consider the bill once more. The Senate will likely consider the bill Tuesday.
Jim Hochberg, president of Hawaii Family Advocates, told The Christian Post in an earlier interview that he there are many problems with the fundamental reasoning behind SB 1.
"But marriage is not about what the two spouses are into. It's an institution of society. So marriage is not about what two adults want, it's about what children need. And what children need, from an optimum environment, is a mother and a father raising them," said Hochberg.
"The purpose of marriage, why the state supports opposite-sex coupling having children, is because that is where the next generation of hopefully civilized adults are raised."
If passed, gay couples in Hawaii can begin getting married on December 2.