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Thousands Rally Against Possible Civil Union Vote This Week in Hawaii


A civil union bill in Hawaii which stalled on a deadlocked 3-3 vote in a Senate committee last year after 2,000 people showed up at the state capitol to protest, may get another vote this week as lawmakers reconvene:

Hawaii "Opponents, noting that this is an election year, cast doubt on claims that passage is at hand. Critics, including the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu and scores of evangelical Protestant churches, hope another rally...will be large enough to convince wavering lawmakers to kill the measure. 'It's up to the people who oppose civil unions to remind the legislators that they work for the people,' said Garret Hashimoto, chairman of the Hawaii Christian Coalition. 'There's no ifs, ands or buts that the majority of the people in Hawaii oppose civil unions and gay marriage.' No independent polls or surveys have been conducted on the issue, so it's difficult to measure public sentiment. The last time voters directly weighed in on a related issue was in 1998 when 70 percent approved a constitutional amendment allowing the Legislature to reserve marriage for opposite sex couples."

Thousands showed up for the rally yesterday: "Many at the rally yesterday made no distinction between civil unions and marriage, even though the bill does not redefine marriage, which under state law is between a man and a woman. 'This is your house. And this is the Lord's house,' Dennis Arakaki, of the Hawai'i Family Forum, told rally attendees, a sea of white shirts that spilled from the rotunda and extended across the mauka side of the Capitol."

The bill's chances? "Supporters voice guarded confidence that the bill, pending in the Senate since May, still enjoys majority support in both chambers. But House Speaker Calvin Say, a Democrat, suggested the bill could stall in the House if the Senate vote turns out to be slim. 'If the bill limps over,' he said, 'you know we don't have the two-thirds, so why go through the exercise if the governor is going to veto?'"

Watch some video shot by the protestors, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. No no NO!
    The legislators work for the people, *not* the majority of the people. There's a huge difference.

    Also: What's with this ridiculous opposition to civil unions? OK, if you're a religious nut, claiming that 'marriage' is about God and children and whatever, I still think it's absurd but at least I can kind of understand the 'reasoning'. But civil unions? Not churchy at all. Do they just not want gay folks to be able to live together and have the state recognize them as a single household? Why not? Cause we're not real, I assume...
    What if it were a guy and girl, not in love, not wanting to marry, but living together for ten years and operating as a single 'household unit'. Would these 'protestors' still be pissed off?

    Posted by: Liquid | Jan 18, 2010 11:10:54 AM

  2. What's with the white shirts couldn't they get sheets?

    Posted by: gregg | Jan 18, 2010 11:18:56 AM

  3. just out of curiosity, when is the rally in SUPPORT of the bill?

    Posted by: DR | Jan 18, 2010 11:31:05 AM

  4. These so-called religious people are a bunch of lying hypocrites. They constantly say that as long as gay people don't call their relationships "marriage" then they won't have a problem with it. Now they're saying that civil unions are the same thing. They know damn well that civil unions aren't anything close to being equal to traditional marriage.

    Posted by: David in Houston | Jan 18, 2010 11:37:00 AM

  5. Mormons are powerful in Hawaii. They're the ones who financed the constitutional amendment that stopped marriage equality back in the mid-90s, when Hawaii threatened to be the first state to allow marriage.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Jan 18, 2010 12:10:01 PM

  6. First step is wearing white shirts.

    Next step they'll be wearing white robes and pointy white hats.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jan 18, 2010 12:11:00 PM

  7. I hate to be a downer, but there is no way civil unions will pass in Hawaii in the next few years. The anti-gay forces are so large, organized, and fervent. They have their stuff together and are willing, able, and ready to oppose any pro-gay legislation. The pro-gay side seems very anemic and naive about the climate they are working in.

    Posted by: Javier | Jan 18, 2010 1:12:04 PM

  8. I'd love for the Hawaii lgbt folks to get a hold of the testimony from the catholic church and the anti-gay organizations in the new jersey senate saying how civil unions are acceptable, just not marriage. I have a feeling we'll see NOM showing up in Hawaii to work against civil unions when they always concede civil unions when a marriage bill is up. Those people talking out of both sides of their mouths needs to be exposed in the media and in the legislative committees.

    Posted by: John K. | Jan 18, 2010 1:57:23 PM

  9. Hey, nobody needs to go visit and spend your hard earned dollars in Hawaii. A state where the economy is already crumbling in the wake of reduceed tourism. As a matter of fact, the gays that are in Hawaii should move. We should all be moving to states where our rights are supported and we aren't being robbed of our tax dollars to perpetuate this type of mistreatment. Cancel your vacations and call the senators in Hawaii and tell them why.

    It is exceptionally easy now for both supporters of equality and opponents to lean on the opposition side. Some may even be siliently hopeful that once this argument arrives on the steps of the Supreme Court that our rights will be supported... but for now, they will maintain their base and say no to equality.

    Once the supreme court goes on record, we will know the type of country we live in. I for one know I will be leaving the US if my rights are not validated. How about you?

    Posted by: David | Jan 18, 2010 2:06:26 PM

  10. Let me guess. The Mormons.

    Posted by: Roberto | Jan 18, 2010 2:07:27 PM

  11. Here's a suggestion... FUCK the fundamentalist Christians... and while we are at it, FUCK ANY CHRISTIAN that does not support the anti-gay measures and does not speak out against them! If you are so weak willed that you will let stuff go, that you SHOULD by your conscience never allow, YOU are as guilty as any one of the Christian Taliban that are destroying this country! Stand up and be counted or accept the scorn heaped on you! I am over giving people a 'pass' just because they say they are Christian.

    Posted by: CKNJ | Jan 18, 2010 6:32:29 PM

  12. wow, such a big crowd

    Posted by: iene | Jan 19, 2010 7:34:16 AM

  13. Every Christian knows that civil union is just a cover for the gay agents to destroy traditional marriage!! Give it up and find Christ to help you out of ur wicked ways.

    Posted by: Lamar | Jan 20, 2010 1:06:52 AM

  14. Well, I guess I will be spending my gaycation dollars somewhere else!

    Posted by: WPM | Jan 20, 2010 8:34:06 AM

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