Lesbian Dem. Rep. Who Voted Against Marriage Equality In Hawaii Explains Her Decision

Jo_JordanIt has been interesting. I am not part of any faith-based group, so I walked in thinking those were going to be the ones going, grrrr, grrrr. But unfortunately, it’s been coming from my community during the hearing. I was like, ‘Wow, so much for minorities that have been suppressed.’ But I’ve got to look at it this way: 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. It’s not about who is right and who is wrong. It’s about, are we creating a measure that meets the needs of all?

I had come to the decision that SB1 needed to amended. It wasn’t protective enough for everybody. And I truly know, my GLBT community is not going to go somewhere where they are not welcome. They are not going to go, “Pastor, you need to marry us, even though it is against your grain.” Because they want their happy day to be a happy day. A couple isn’t going to step into something that’s not warm and welcoming. We’re really looking at those fringe guys, those ones that pop up on the edges that say, “You’re treading on my rights, so I’m going to come and challenge you.”

When you look at a measure, you have to consider, how do we make this the golden standard, as bulletproof as possible? My major concerns on SB1 was, first, the parental maternal rights, 57-2c, that wasn’t healthy. That definitely needed to be fixed. The religious exemption was not adequate enough. And the divorce portion in there is not fair. We’re talking about creating equity. They have made a provision here where you don’t have to domicile here. And I totally get what they’re saying, but I have some serious problems with that. We should at least make some sort of domicile in our state, so they can file for divorce here.

I really am not happy with the exemptions. Too narrow.

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. And they will interpret it however that may be. A judge will make assumptions and make a ruling, and that will become the law of the land. So you really want us to create the legislation.

I haven’t figured out why I felt so compelled to fight for the religious exemptions, to not erode Constitutional rights. I don’t belong to any particular denomination. I don’t wear one of those hats. I take religion out of everything. My religion is the mountain, the aina and spiritual. Everybody finds their own religion somewhere. I have the same values as they do, but it’s just a little different. When I walked into this session, that rose to the surface. Why me? Why am I trying to protect your religious rights?

I’m still trying to figure out. I’ve always followed paths. I don’t find the path. The path finds me. This, obviously, is a path I’m supposed to go. You’re not supposed to question. Just ‘OK.’

At the end of the day, the way SB1 HD1 is written right now, walking into the third reading I can’t say it is written the best that we can provide to all.  If that’s at the risk of not allowing same-gender couples to get married on Dec. 2, I can’t stop that, I’m sorry. We want to make sure it’s good. It’s not about who gets to the finish line first.  It’s just not.”

— HI Democratic Rep. Jo Jordan in an exclusive interview with Honolulu magazine tries to explain her national news-making decision to vote against the Aloha state’s same-sex marriage bill SB1

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  • KiraNerysRules

    “I don’t find the path. The path finds me. This, obviously, is a path I’m supposed to go. You’re not supposed to question. Just ‘OK.’”

    She sounds completely delusional.

  • hephaestion

    She BADLY needs to learn how to speak in a concise, to-the-point manner.

  • Mr. E. Jones

    She’s setting up the gay community as her enemies, and the anti-gay Christians as her friends. She has only begun to throw gays under the bus. Come reelection time, she will paint gays as bad people, and Christians as good people, and herself as the defender of Christians. And she’s doping all this because she lost her power when Speaker Say lost his.

  • Merv

    She’s clearly in the early stages of going ex-gay. Some people are susceptible to religious propaganda, and she’s one of them. Within a few months they’ll have her completely brainwashed, and then she’ll make the announcement.

  • Fitz

    She is an awful human being, and he world will be a little nicer when she is gone.

  • tjr101

    That’s the most non explanative explanation I’ve heard in a long time. Is she auditioning for Fox?

  • tripster

    actually I kind of get where she is getting at. she is saying not to rush into things. because if same sex marriage is passed a lot of (religious) people are going to get pissed and hard for people to be accepting. but if she doesn’tthink her community isnt ready for same sex marriage then just don’t vote. its different for not voting on something than wanting to disagree on something

  • niles

    Never underestimate the power of religious persuasion. It has worked very well for centuries to enslave those with weak minds. Unfortunately, that accounts for the majority of the population.

  • petensfo

    “We’re really looking at those fringe guys, those ones that pop up on the edges that say, “You’re treading on my rights, so I’m going to come and challenge you.””

    Boy, this woman’s in the wrong business. That quote sounds like the kind of thing anti-gay people say when they get annoyed at the gays for expecting equality under law. Whiny gays.

  • Polaro

    She over thought the whole thing. And then she came up with the wrong answer. Religion has not and is not under attack. They don’t need the help.

  • Palmer Scott

    @tripster: Sorry, no, wrong. Her district, the 44th, favors marriage equality by 75%, and the entire state by 55%.

    There are ample, unneeded “religious” protections already in place AND additional ones in the bill that was passed!

    She’s got a head full of New Age and native mysticism and tried to use that fluff to justify her betrayal of her constituents and the LGBT community (which should turn it’s collective back on her).

    She needs to be recalled.

  • Cam

    Her explanations are complete B.S.

    1. She says that the religious exemptions are not enough. Either she is lying or she is extremely stupid because there is a very large religious exemption….The U.S. Constitution. A religion cannot be forced to do anything for anybody that they don’t feel fits their church rules. Religious exemptions are fake articles put in this law so that stupid people won’t believe NOM when they come in and try to lie and say “They will force your church to marry evil gays” So that part of her statement is a lie.

    2. Her second reason, the domicile requirement is also B.S. that was how Mitt Romney finally tried to limit marriage in MA. by finding a law from the 1800’s that said you couldn’t get married in MA. unless you lived there. Those laws had all been wiped out in the last few hundred years because they were ridiculous and useless. Her wanting one shows she has some really serious problems.

  • 2eo

    Wow, what a waffley way to say absolutely nothing. Definitely a politician.

    All I see, and her actions confirm it beyond doubt is a self hating uncle Tom.

  • Red_Dragon_888

    She should have said it plan that, “it will hurt more than help the Gay Community, and it must be rewritten for all concern” instead of going off into platitudes, mixed metaphors and a martyr complex. But that is the politicians way, never really being pinned down by language. Say it like John Adams, “In politics the middle way is none at all.” She picked a side to improve the legislation, and hopefully will point out more directly what she means in direct words.

  • balehead

    She doesn’t want gay men to adopt kids too by the way…..

  • Mr. E. Jones


    That’s a new wrinkle to this, balehead. Thanks for the info.

  • Cam

    She also has the language of the bigots down. Claiming to be a victim or under attack because people are calling her out.

  • tjr101

    She just got praised by brown shirt Brian Brown of all people, she must be so proud. I hope her constituents punish her for this.

  • Kathukid

    When the explanation is as rambling and incoherent as this one, then it is just pure bullshit. She claims to not even know her own thought processes. Buh-bye.

  • Kangol

    Her actions are inexcusable and inexplicable. What a traitor to her own. Disgusting.

  • Larry

    I refuse to judge her or call her names. I will just say when women were granted the right to vote and interracial marriage was granted less than 10% of the population approved. We have a representative democracy. People do not vote on everything. We trust legislatures to do the right thing and if a majority of the people dont agree with their actions, they lose that privilege. Most people in this country dont understand this but it was the way our country was set up. Legislator’s jobs are not to mirror polls.

  • AuntieChrist

    SB1 HD1 recognizes marriages between individuals of the same gender. In addition, the measure extends to same-sex couples the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities of marriage to which opposite-sex couples are presently entitled.

    The House draft amends the Senate version of SB1 in the following areas:


    * No requirement if in violation of “religious beliefs or faith”

    * Including immunity from administrative, civil and legal liability for failure or refusal to solemnize


    * Applies to “religious organizations” and “nonprofit organizations operated, supervised or controlled by a religious organization”

    * No requirement to provide “goods, services, or its facilities or grounds for the solemnization or celebration of a marriage that is in violation of its religious beliefs or faith”

    * Exemption applies to religious organizations and the nonprofit organizations specified above even if the activity is “for profit”

    * Immunity from administrative, civil and legal liability for failure or refusal


    * Deletes this provision


    * Conforms the above exemptions to the existing civil unions statue

  • AuntieChrist

    How easily we toss our own under the bus when we think they are wrong or do not conform to our ideas. This woman has received DEATH THREATS… I think we have enough people gunning for us to turn our hate and vitriol onto each other. I respect her opinion as I would yours, though they are rather extreme. Also, her spiritual beliefs are no more ridiculous than any other. I prefer science but to a primitive mind science would seem like magic. It is not a far stretch to believe that an ecosystem could possess some sort of consciousness or spirit.

  • Stefano

    @AuntieChrist : butyiu prefer beliefs to science…LOL

  • Stefano

    @AuntieChrist : but you prefer beliefs to science…LOL you are funny

  • manxxxx

    If you think that’s bizarre, you should have been watching the webstreaming of the debate and vote.

    Representative Jordan spoke about how she found love from the community she thought hated her, and hate from her community where she thought she would find love.

    She’ll be the poster child of the radical christians who, as we know, will never accept her.

    So far as the LGBTQ community goes? Well, don’t look for Representative Jordan to be the grand marshal of Honolulu Pride any time soon.

    If any of you remember the mini-series and then television series “V” from the early 80s, you can place Representative Jordan in the role of a collaborator who was the poster child of the aliens who were looking to Earth for its new food source. Well, the religious right has found its “food source,” and they have their “collaborator.”

  • aimlesswander

    I was there at the Capitol to watch her speech on the issue. As a 34 year old gay man I was and still am appalled that Jo Jordan would take the side of a no vote! She acted surprised that she received a negative response from our community and in a form of open retaliation thanked the Christian based opposition for their support! All the while in the Capitol these Christians used hate speech and intimidation to try and suppress the marriage equality voice! She is playing politics while doing so she had lost her relevance!! She will go down in history as a traitor!

  • AuntieChrist

    @Stefano: I did not say I prefer beliefs to science. I said, I prefer science. Perhaps I should be more concise. I value science over religion. Is THAT clear enough for you? I do not look down my nose if anyone wants to embrace some form of faith.

  • AuntieChrist

    @aimlesswander: Thank you for your insight. Sounds like betrayal to me. I based my comment on the Queerty article. She like most politicians places her own interests above those of her constituents. How sad.

  • 2eo

    @manxxxx: You. I like you.

  • Cam

    @AuntieChrist: said…

    “How easily we toss our own under the bus when we think they are wrong or do not conform to our ideas. This woman has received DEATH THREATS… I think we have enough people gunning for us to turn our hate and vitriol onto each other. I respect her opinion as I would yours, though they are rather extreme.


    1. You have been all over the other comments being just as judgmental about people who disagree with you as anybody has been about the foolish woman in this posting, so nice try claiming you would respect any opinion.

    2. She has gone step by step in the NOM bigots playbook. First she claims she is a victim and under attack when people disagree with her, then she claims again that she is such a victim and that gays are really the evil ones because she has supposedly received death threats. It is literally out of Maggie Smith’s playbook.

    Funny how there haven’t been any police reports filed, threatening a public official ALWAYS gets a response, and yet…nothing. But please

  • Joincny

    @AuntieChrist: Have you not read or heard the horrible things these anti same sex marriage people have said about gay people during the open debates in Hawaii? Gay people feel like they’re being attacked and are lashing out at someone who they thought supported them.

  • Ned_Flaherty

    All lawmakers are paid to be intelligent, informed, articulate, and unambiguous. Jo Jordan has none of these qualifications.

    Her statements are contradictory, conflated, and confused. She isn’t able to organize her thoughts, or to speak clearly. The same-gender civil marriage proposal sat on Jo Jordan’s desk for the last ten months, yet she remains totally inarticulate about the topic. Everything she says or writes is empty of any rationale or insight.

    Her random, neural firings are idiotic.

    She sided with the imaginary superstitions of ignorant, fearful theocrats reciting lists of apocalyptic fears for which they had not one shred of evidence. She ignored history and science.

    Jordan voted to deny 1,138 federal marriage-related benefits to citizens who are entitled to them, and who pay for them with their tax dollars. She voted to deny equal protection of the law as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. She voted the exact opposite of the vast majority of her own constituents.

    Based on her very own words, Jo Jordan is totally, thoroughly inept.

  • AnitaMann

    Was she in a car accident that left her brain damaged?

  • AuntieChrist

    @Cam: I did not know any of that. As I said before. I based my comment on the Queerty article and the resulting comments made by people on this board. In the future I shall do an extensive amount of research before making ANY future comments.

  • AuntieChrist

    @Joincny: Sorry. No, I had not heard anything about that. All I can say in my defense is that I live in Oklahoma and do not spend much time online. I check Huff Post and look at Queerty once a day. I am rather ashamed to admit now that I am not as well informed as I should be.

  • Cam


    Well and in fairness, to those of us who have followed this story it seems as though not knowing and defending her actions look similar. No intentions to jump on you about it, but I get invested when I see yet ANOTHER person who seems to be co opted by the bigots, just like the Ex-gays have been in the past.

  • Rob Moore

    @Polaro: Precisely.

  • Rob Moore

    @AuntieChrist: Don’t feel bad. You are not entirely wrong. Jordan is an example of looking at the facts and coming to the wrong conclusion, but we have turned her into a martyr for the superstitious, religious bigots. That was not her intention, and she thought she was being noble; however, she made the wrong choice. I hope that she if she runs for reelection, she is challenged and loses simply because she is not very sensible.

  • nature boy

    From what I’ve read from various Hawaii commenters, there are two explanations for her vote. 1) she can’t explain it because the real reason is that she’s a political ally of someone who got tossed out of his position as Speaker so she and her other politically marginalized buddies were trying to make the Governor look bad and 2) she has a poor education so she really does NOT have the training for critical thinking or eloquence that you would want in a legislator. In WAY over her head and therefore an easy mark. Uggh. Unfortunately as I remind my straight friends, yes, you will find everything in the gay community that you find in the straight community, including dumbasses.

  • Rob Moore

    I know a gay man who is a member of a fundamentalist Southern Baptist church who likes hairy men in jockstraps. He joined a picket line that was protesting allowing a Gay/Straight chapter at a high school. He still says that he is going to heaven/paradise/Elysium Fields/Valhalla (pick your superstition). I told him he is a shit-filled hypocrite.

    There are twisted, fucked-up people all over the world whether gay or straight. One only has to look at GOProud or Log Cabin Republicans.

  • ActionBuddy

    All that gibberish, and yet, Oahu’s voters re-elected her? What’s up with that?

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