Security Advisory for Senate’s Same-Sex Marriage Vote

The Hawaii Senate is expected to accept the Hawaii House amendments of the gay marriage bill on Tuesday and send it to the governor for his signature.

Still, to “ensure a safe environment,” Senate Sergeant at Arms Ben Villaflor spoke with leaders from both sides of the issue and says the “security environment” will be similar to that of the House on Friday:

• Capitol Rotunda: Supporters of marriage equality will have a dedicated zone on the mauka side and opponents of marriage equality will have a dedicated zone on the makai side.

• Beretania Street: Sign-waving space will be divided among both groups. Supporters of marriage equality will be on both sides of Beretania Street from the Damien statue towards Punchbowl Street. Opponents of marriage equality will be on both sides of Beretania Street from the Damien Statue towards Downtown.

• Senate Gallery: Seating in the gallery is limited. The gallery will be evenly split down the middle with an equal allocation of space for both sides.  There will be entrances open on each side of the gallery for the public to enter their respective seating areas. … Public seating in the gallery will begin at 9:15 a.m. Everyone entering the gallery will be subject to a bag check and metal detector screening.

If you are unable to get a seat in the gallery and would like to view the floor session, additional viewing areas will be available in the Capitol rotunda (street level). The floor session will also be broadcast live on ‘Olelo channel 55. You may also stream the proceedings live on your computer by visiting http://olelo.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=91.

• Restrooms: Restrooms are located in the chamber/basement level and on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors. No restrooms are available on the rotunda (street) level.

In the Senate Chamber Gallery the public is kindly reminded and asked to adhere to the following:

—Refrain from audible conversation.

—Refrain from any outbursts and demonstrations of approval or disapproval of proceedings (cheering, jeering, applauding, whistling, hand gestures, etc.).

—Do not act in a disorderly or distracting manner.

—Silence all cell phones or other sound-emitting devices.

—No smoking, food, or beverages.

—No signs or posters.

—Comply with any other request by the presiding officer and sergeant at arms to maintain order.

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Photo: Marriage equality zones at the Capitol. (Senate Sergeant at Arms)

—Chad Blair

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