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Gay Hawaii Lawmaker Jo Jordan, Who Voted 'NO' to Marriage Equality in Final Vote, Explains Herself

On Thursday, we reported on Hawaii Rep. Jo Jordan, a lesbian, who made a "no" vote on the marriage equality bill. Jordan voted "NO" again last night at the bill's third and final reading.

JordanAccording to the Victory Fund, Jordan is the first openly gay lawmaker to ever vote "no" on a marriage equality bill.

Think Progress notes:

Jordan had reservations about the bill before Hawaii’s special session even began. Last week, she explained that she was undecided, because even though 75 percent of her constituents support marriage equality, she felt she had to represent the entire state. She seemed to be unaware that statewide polling showed a 55 percent majority support marriage equality.

The Supreme Court’s decision overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) did little to convince Jordan that the state’s civil unions would no longer suffice: “Has anybody been denied before DOMA or after DOMA — what has changed in our state? These are questions that I still have to settle in myself and that’s why I’m undecided.”

Before the vote, Jordan explained herself in a long post at Honolulu magazine.

Writes Jordan, in part:

I’m choosing not to look at the news, but I hear I’m being blasted pretty bad.

As soon as I got off the floor, probably within the first half hour… (makes explosion noises) I want to have faith that it’s the Mainland and it’s not here. I’m like, "You don’t know who I am, No. 1, because obviously you weren’t in those hearings."

I totally thought I was going to get blasted by the religious community. When I walked into the hearings, I was like, those faith-based guys are going to come out. And not one of them said anything. They were more about, "Thank you, thank you for listening." And they didn’t know who I was. Outside, I was Rep. Jordan sitting at the table. They had no idea who I was, or my lifestyle, and that’s why I like it. Can we get to know each other before you know the rest of the stuff?

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. These were testifiers the day before, saying, “How can you be undecided? You should be a 'yes.' Do you know what this means?” And I politely engaged with them: "I have some problems with SB1." I explained the issues and they slammed me again. “It’s good. Just vote yes.” They started getting boisterous. My natural instinct is, I’m going to fly some words at you. But you can’t, so I’m like, "Thank you."

It 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?

Now that marriage equality looks almost assured to become law in Hawaii, Jordan will have to live with the fact that she voted against rights for herself and the LGBT community.

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  1. Brainless Traitor

    Posted by: Allan | Nov 9, 2013 1:58:53 PM

  2. What an asshat!!

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Nov 9, 2013 2:00:05 PM

  3. Didn't know lesbians could be such drama queens too!

    Posted by: litper | Nov 9, 2013 2:00:46 PM

  4. That is NOT an explanation. It isn't even a good excuse. She is worthless.

    Posted by: candideinn | Nov 9, 2013 2:02:57 PM

  5. Wow. It's all about her. The gays were pressing her too hard and made her feel bad and that opened her up to the kind-hearted Christians (who, as we saw in the hearings, weren't pressuring the delegates at all...).

    Posted by: woody | Nov 9, 2013 2:03:49 PM

  6. The fact that called is a "lifestyle" says as much about her as her vote. My you never get pussy again.

    Posted by: James H | Nov 9, 2013 2:04:03 PM

  7. So she has no clue as to why she voted against it, even though the majority of Hawaiins, and the ones she represents, support marriage equility. She didnt listen to any of the hate from the Christians and basically got mad that the gay community didn't just accept her decision to vote no. And now she is blaming the gay community for forcing her into a no vote, even though that's what she expected to do all along!

    People -- the lesson is just because you are a gay or lesbian politician does NOT mean you have any brains. I hope everyone votes her out, and I do not expect to see her presence at any gay event ever.

    Posted by: Randy | Nov 9, 2013 2:07:15 PM

  8. Her "explanation" makes absolutely no sense. But I think if you read between the lines here, she seems to have voted exclusively based on how well people treated her. The anti marriage folks sucked up to Her Highness, while the gay lobby had the effrontery to make demands. So she basically agreed with gay marriage, her district agreed with gay marriage, and her state did, but she got pissed off at some uppity gay lobbyist and decided to screw the cause to placate her offended ego.

    Posted by: brian1 | Nov 9, 2013 2:07:45 PM

  9. Look at it this way -- now she's famous.

    Posted by: Hunter | Nov 9, 2013 2:07:52 PM

  10. Bizarre. If she has an argument, she doesn't present it. I doubt religious orgs or NOM have been courting her when there are better legislators for them to target. I can't believe any magazine actually published a piece like that. Clearly she has no one editing her.

    Posted by: Mike C. | Nov 9, 2013 2:10:36 PM

  11. What a horrible person. Fairness, equality - they don't mean anything to her? She likes bigots running and ruining the lives of others?

    (1859 :

    I hate slavery. I live in a slave state. Let me see what slaveholders have to say on the issue...Oh, btw I'm a slave.)

    What a butch derphead.

    Posted by: tony | Nov 9, 2013 2:11:40 PM

  12. She is so wrong. The LGBT community looks out for each other because we are a minority constantly attacked. She went against us and that's why people are upset. You don't vote against equality for your own people. As the Victory Fund stated, she is the first gay politician to EVER vote for marriage discrimination.

    Posted by: Reality | Nov 9, 2013 2:15:37 PM

  13. Getting elected to the legislature in Hawaii is about as difficult as finding pot at a surf beach. She's done.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 9, 2013 2:16:58 PM

  14. Ego, idiocy, or Stockholm...does it matter which?

    She might have at least articulated her calculus.

    Posted by: GreatLakeSailor | Nov 9, 2013 2:18:02 PM

  15. She really makes it all about her.

    Posted by: Mikey | Nov 9, 2013 2:18:55 PM

  16. Andy, your comment says it all: "Now that marriage equality looks almost assured to become law in Hawaii, Jordan will have to live with the fact that she voted against rights for herself and the LGBT community."

    Posted by: john patrick | Nov 9, 2013 2:24:12 PM

  17. She's a REAL twit.

    Posted by: Chickletts | Nov 9, 2013 2:24:56 PM

  18. 'It's not about who is right, & who is wrong...' Whattt? She's just plain irresponsible & has no business 'representing' anyone. Had a chuckle at HUNTER's comment, 'Look at it this way -- now she's famous.' I can't resist wanting to top that with, 'Now she's infamous.'

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Nov 9, 2013 2:25:10 PM

  19. What about the discussion that she was allegedly on wrong side of a leadership fight and voted thusly as a result ? strange response even if true.

    Posted by: William | Nov 9, 2013 2:25:22 PM

  20. Where do I send my donation to her primary opponent?

    Posted by: Rich | Nov 9, 2013 2:26:31 PM

  21. Good luck, lady: you're gonna need it.

    Posted by: Chaz | Nov 9, 2013 2:26:38 PM

  22. She is horrendously inarticulate and completely missed why the right wasn't angry at her...she was on their side! Hopefully they can unseat her in the next election.

    Posted by: Darrell | Nov 9, 2013 2:27:41 PM

  23. She's just further proof that ignorance comes in all shapes, sizes and sexual orientations.

    Posted by: Craig | Nov 9, 2013 2:30:34 PM

  24. I really don't understand what she's saying here. Makes no sense.

    Posted by: Joe Bua | Nov 9, 2013 2:32:29 PM

  25. How did this woman get elected? She frankly sounds like an idiot 12 year old schoolboy. "then they were like BOOM! And I was like woooah..." STFU, you numskull. I don't even think she knows what elected REPRESENTATIVE means. Ugh...

    Posted by: Jack Ford | Nov 9, 2013 2:33:25 PM

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