Maybe it’s serendipity that both the First State, Delaware, and the newest, Hawaii, saw civil-union legislation take effect on Sunday.
Hawaii’s civil-union law, signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie in February, “will provide a much needed legal framework to support and fortify the bonds between couples and families,” said Equality Hawaii Foundation Co-Chair Gigi Lee.
But the group, which worked for years to get unions recognized, isn’t mincing words about its ultimate goal: marriage.
“Marriage is still the ultimate expression of love and commitment in our society. To argue this isn’t the case for same-sex couples is to deny their very membership in society and their investment in its collective beliefs and aspirations,” says ,” Equality Hawaii Advisory Board Member Alan Spector.
It’s not been an easy road to the altar for the Aloha State: In 1996, a judge ruled that the state had no compelling interest in limited marriage to opposite-sex partners, but his decision was stayed pending review. And in 1998 voters in the state passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
Maybe “mahalo” actually means “no thanks”?
Mike in Asheville
WOW — what you guys don’t know is flabbergasting! (Do you know about this new thingie called “Google”? — just enter a few key words, and whamo, links to all sorts of relevant information.)
The whole current marriage equality effort began in Hawaii, when, in 1993, the Hawaiian Supreme Court ruled that the State did not have a compelling reason to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and ordered the lower court to revisit the issue using “strict scrutiny” as the measure. The lower court then found in favor of same-sex couples.
Alas, the political environment, led by the Moron Church and Catholic Cult, was able to get the Hawaii to pass a constitutional amendment in 1998 banning same-sex marriage.
IT WAS DUE TO THE 1993 SUPREME COURT RULING THAT LED REPUGNANTANS TO BRING THIS TO A POLITICAL STANDOFF — NOT TO BE OUTDONE, THE CLINTON WHITE HOUSE — RICHARD “THE KAPO” SOCARIDES PRESIDING — JUMPED ON THE BANDWAGON WITH DOMA; dooming marriage-equality another decade until Massachusetts became the first state.
Indeed, it has been a tough road for marriage equality in Hawaii — starting in 1990 when three couples got together to launch their lawsuit (filed in 1991), attracting legal support and fundraising. During this same period, NONE of the national gay rights organizations supported this effort, with HRC and Barney Frank actually denouncing the attempt as dangerous distractions to their gay rights and AIDS efforts. The Hawaiians were left to fight this themselves, along with the many private supporter who paid the legal bills (my LA doctor was very active in fund raising for this effort, my hubby and I ceased donating to HRC/others and gave the Hawaiians all of our contributions).
There would not be marriage-equality anywhere in the US had it not been for the brave Hawaiians, and their straight attorneys, who launched the movement so successfully, gaining the very first legal recognition for equal process under the law. Cheers Hawaii.
Cheers back at you from Hawaii, Mike in Asheville
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