Lawmakers look for legal problems in Equality billUPDATED 7:16 PM HST Oct 31, 2013Video Transcript
same-sex marriage debate is being played out in Hawaii's house of representatives.. And this debate could be longer and even more emotional than the battle in the senate. Thousands of people want to speak, and house leaders vow to hear them all out.. We have TEAM coverage tonight. LIVE from the State Capitol -- we have KITV-4's Brenton Awa -- who has more on what the public has to say in this latest go- around. But first -- we go to KITV-4's Catherine Cruz Catherine? House leaders say at the rate we're going this hearing could last until Saturday. 4-thousand people have signed up to speak. but before the public could have their say, lawmakers grilled the state's top lawyer because some fear passing the bill will trigger new legal challenges. 24 1:04 Religious exemptions could be the make-or-break factors when the house takes its vote on same-sex marriage. St Clements church operates a pre- school on premises and some lawmakers worry how the marriage equality bill will impact its operations. - Ty Cullen 37:29 -37: 35 -For some of those religious schools, religion is part of their curriculum. so would they need an exemption in this bill too? - David Louie 36:18 - 36:22 -"St Clements has pre-K. I do not know if that would be considered a donation. it sounds like it woul dbe a commercial transaction and they would be providing educational services," The first few hours of the hearing drew lots of questions about the tipping point between religious exemptions and discrimination. If churches open their arms to commercial weddings, shouldnt they embrace gay marriages too? And where do you draw the line? Lawmakers asked what about Native Hawaiian entitilements and eligibility for Hawaiian Homesteadalnd and services from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. What to do if a same sex couple has a child with donated eggs and sperm? - Mele Carroll 29:28: - -"How does this law reconcile the loss of entitlement for this child," David Louie 30:23 -30:30 - "There is a procedure in the department of health, but ultimately it would allow the courts to rule if somewhere to challenge it," Lawmakers wondered about christenings and divorce and how the law might apply to businesses who do not cater to gay weddings. House speaker Joe Souki says the bills passage hinges on if the lawmakers can get the exemptions they want. If there isnt agreement, he says the tentative yes votes could fall apart. Souki says he hopes to avoid a conference committee because he fears that could stretch the special session out ever more than 7 or 8 days. The worse case scenario is that the lawmakers won;t be able to get agreement at all. Back to you.