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”?