falling short

Don’t Be Fooled: Hawaii’s Democratic Gov Candidate Neil Abercrombie Does Not Support Your Right to Marry

Lt. Gov James “Duke” Aiona, the Republican nominee who wants to replace Linda Lingle as governor of Hawaii, says he’ll support a 2012 effort to let voters ban same-sex marriage via constitutional amendment. That would go further than even Lingle, who vetoed the civil unions bill that reached her desk. On the other hand we’ve got Neil Abercrombie, the Democratic nominee, who says he would sign a civil unions bill if it reached his desk. But what’s this about him detesting any effort to have lawmakers legalize same-sex marriage?

When Abercrombie won the Democratic nomination, we looked back on his statement made in July when Lingle vetoed the civil unions bill: “Governor Lingle has made her choice and the Legislature has said it will not go back into a special session for any veto overrides. HB 444 was not a same-sex marriage bill. The State Legislature has already defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Civil unions respect our diversity, protect people’s privacy and reinforce our core values of equality and aloha. Now, it will be up to the next Governor and Legislature to ensure that all people of Hawaii receive equal treatment. Protecting people’s civil rights cannot be compromised. I am committed to that most essential of constitutional imperatives.”

“Equal treatment,” however, does not include the M-word to Abercrombie. Evidently, Abercrombie agrees with Aiona on his stance that marriage is not a civil rights issue, which is why civil unions are just fine for this fella.

Abercrombie only supports same-sex civil unions, but not marriage. At least not the type that would arrive through state lawmakers approving it.

Wasn’t this the same guy who said “religious persuasion” should have no role in the rights of minorities?

Abercrombie had us fooled. The blog Rod 2.0 reported he “supports full marriage equality.” The Human Rights Campaign gives Abercrombie a 100% score — and upon receiving the group’s an endorsement the candidate said “civil rights cannot be compromised.”

What HRC didn’t say, and what we evidently overlooked: Abercrombie believes civil rights cannot be compromised … except maybe a little.

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  • jamison

    this is why it is important to vote in primaries for the democratic candidate that supports equality to the fullest extent (and tell your friends to as well).

  • Mike

    That’s the best you’re going to get in Hawaii for now. It is highly unlikely that same sex marriage would not pass the state legislature anyway. I think we should focus on getting civil unions legalized in the state first. Why does Queerty always whine and try to make people look bad without looking at the facts or using common sence? Legalizing civil unions would be pretty big in Hawaii considering that state has been a battle ground for so many years. Don’t trash the guy for suporting them.

  • Flipper

    @Mike: Would you have told black people in the 50s and 60s to settle for separate but equal (which, as we all know, is never equal)? I think not. If “the best [we’re] going to get” is to remain second-class citizens, what good does it do us to kowtow to the homophobes and say, “yes, it’s okay to (continue to) enshrine us in law as lesser citizens”? Further, why is it inappropriate to “trash” someone who says he wants to “ensure that all people of Hawaii receive equal treatment” but doesn’t want to extend that opportunity to gay citizens?

  • whatever

    @Mike: “Why does Queerty always whine and try to make people look bad without looking at the facts or using common sence?”

    Why is ther skiy blue? Why is water wet? Because the eds are fucking morons that’s why.

  • Joe B

    so, what does Queerty propose? That Hawaiians stay home in November, and risk electing the Republican who is against gay marriages and civil unions?

    The situation is that there are two candidates, one who hates us and one who supports a middle ground. There is no perfect candidate but one is better than the other.

    I think as a community we have to first learn to take what we can get, and then work on the rest. We forget that the states that have legislatively created gay marriages (VT, CT, NH) first created civil unions and we went back and successfully persuaded to go the rest of the way.

  • Kurt

    Interesting. What we don’t see Queerty reporting is the recent death of lesbian feminist leader Jill Johnson, author of “Lesbian Nation”. But there are quiet sighs of relief from Queerty with the passing of that generation of glbt leaders.

    It frees them from the “inconvinent truth” that the glbt movement once proclaimed marriage as an oppressive institution that gays and lesbians should have no part of and no desire for. Johnson wrote extensively against marriage and never considered it a “civl right.”

    I don’t happen to agree with Johnson’s point of view. But let’s stop presenting that the justice of gay marriage is and always has been self-evident. If Abercrombie isn’t yet behind gay marriage (as our own movement was a generation ago), I am going to disagree with him but not call him a hateful ogre.

  • Chris

    This is such a dishonest article: 1) he supports marriage equality, according to the Associated Press: http://www.webcitation.org/5kQbPNVZS 2) he was making the point that the opponents calling civil unions marriage we lying. His primary opponent was opposed to marriage AND civil unions, we better be happy he is the nominee. He will sign civil unions, why not attack someone who did/does nothing, like Rahm Emanuel?

    Shame on you, Queerty.

  • Aaron in Honolulu

    Queerty, in this article alone, I can say that you are doing more harm than good. Like Joe B (No. 5) said in an earlier post: There is no perfect candidate but one is better than the other. I feel Abercrombie personally supports gay marriage, he just won’t take up the issue as governor and will focus on civil unions instead because he feels gay marriage will ultimately be decided by the supreme court thanks to U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker’s beautiful ruling on Prop 8. I would also like to add that Abercrombie is a friend to the Hawaii gay and lesbian community. Yes, civil unions is NOT a marriage but it is the best “clear target” we have now. We need to take what we can get until we can get what we want. Unfortunately, in our situation we cannot afford to use an “all or nothing” strategy. We have to make do with what we have.

    Here is the article (http://tiny.cc/1zcsw) from the Honolulu Star Advertiser explaining each candidate’s view on civil unions and other social issues.

    On Tuesday, November 2, 2010, as a citizen of Hawaii, I will be voting for Democratic candidate for Governor of Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie. I will also encourage my friends, family, and fellow Hawaii citizens to do the same and to not vote for Bible banger Duke Aiona who believes that my LGBT Ohana and I do not deserve any sort rights.


  • the crustybastard

    Did any other candidate for governor of Hawaii promise to sign a domestic partnership bill?

    Oh yeah, Linda Lingle did.

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