Hawaii’s Gays Can’t Get Married, But Are They About to Get Civil Unions?

Hawaii, the state that set off the whole Defense of Marriage Act movement in the mid-1990s, this week is expected to see state legislators approve a bill granting civil union rights to gay couples. Remember, that’s civil unions, not marriage, which Hawaii’s voters banned in 1998 via constitutional amendment, although they’d be just like marriages, just without the name. And, like clockwork, the Catholic Church got involved: “Honolulu Catholic Bishop Larry Silva in a letter last week urged some 220,000 parishioners to lobby lawmakers. He called civil unions ‘simply a euphemism’ for gay marriage and claimed it is justifiable to discriminate against gay couples who want to marry.”

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