Friday, April 3, 2009


MOMMY WHAT ARE REX AND FIDO DOING?: Another day, another way to insult and denigrate same gender couples and their families and friends.

This time it‘s from State Sen. Will Espero, who has a thus far unseen (at press time) 311-page whopper of a bill that, according to Honolulu Advertiser reporter Derrick DePledge’s blog entry today, would

expand the rights and benefits of same-sex partners under state law but would also reaffirm marriage as between one man and one woman. The draft is so long because it lists all of the areas under state law where same-sex partners would have rights.

Espero announced his intent to introduce the “amendment” to SB 444 on PBS’ Island Insights last night, sitting beside noted bigot Gary Oshino who said he wasn’t homophobic before launching into an absurd tirade denouncing homosexuality.

Of course even if Espero scoured HRS for all the rights and benefits of marriage and listed them in the 311 pages it’s just another way to send a message that gays and lesbians and others who sexually identify in a different manner that they are less than human and that its perfectly ok to spew hate and venom and in fact dehumanize them further in order to spread their intolerance.

The worst part of this is of course is the effect on children who grow up with other than heterosexual identities.

The most asinine of the arguments from Oshino and his ilk is that they are somehow doing this “for the children” who apparently have to be carefully taught how to hate. It’s particularly informative that they rely on the church for this.

Despite the reams of studies and research showing definitively that sexual identity is an inborn proclivity, these small-minded religious zealots – the same ones who think the earth is 6000 years old and all the animals in the world were saved from a really big flood... in pairs... on a really big boat- think they know better because they have interpreted a book of tall tales to say what they want it to say.

Depression and suicide rates among gay and lesbian youth are high enough because, at the precise adolescent time they are experiencing the peer pressure and angst of seeking a place in the adult world, those they love and trust hate them for who they are and they are unable to reconcile the two different realities.

The bigotry and attempts to dehumanize on the part of those who would send this message is nothing but a loaded gun and those who would deny civil rights to these kids are nothing but child abusers- and oft times murderers.

We can expect that from dullards who can’t or won’t think for themselves and adamantly relentlessly cling to their superstitions. What’s really obnoxious is that those who should know better- and sit in the legislature- are willing to send the same message.

When the horrendous constitutional provision enabling the ban on same gender marriage was passed in the 90’s we had the ignominious job of registering people to vote via the county participation in the state’s “Wiki-Wiki” program, standing outside the county building and helping voters filling out the forms.

Many came by and asked “is this where we sign up to ban same sex marriage?” allowing us an insight into what was motivating them.

While there were a handful of bigots and zealots most were seemingly every day normal people who said they just wanted to reserve the term “marriage” for opposite sex couples but weren’t opposed to granting full marriage rights to all.

That was the issue for the vast majority of those who voted for discrimination- that the word “marriage” should not be used to describe anything but their way of enjoying sex.


But now that even those effected have apparently temporarily given up the term marriage to be able to at least enjoy the rights marriage bestows, the true colors of the zealots who hid their real intent behind the argument over the word marriage has become all too apparent.

They now say the word isn’t enough- they want the rights too. They, as Oshino did last night, even claim the vote was one to deny those rights, not just one over the use of the word. But anyone who reads back through the commentary and even polls in the media from those days will find what really mattered to a vast majority was just the word marriage and that they were willing to bestow the rights that went along with it on any couple.

But the legislature failed to accommodate this when they banned marriage for all and instead of passing a promised full equal rights civil unions bill they instead passed a watered down “reciprocal benefits” law that was pitifully lacking when compared to the rights marriage bestows.

Nothing has changed today. Despite a scientific poll conducted by Q-Mark showing 81% now support giving those rights to all and agree that it is an issue of civil rights, our legislators are intimidated by a small band of nutty, red-shirted, insecure, bible thumpers who are apparently jealous that they can’t even get it up anymore for their “traditional” marriage partners while others can pull that off with members of their own gender.

As damaging as the ban on marriage was to those who would be excluded from being state-licensed to torture that one special person from the rest of their lives it has now degenerated into a full-on discriminatory debacle.

It’s time to start separating out the real bigots from the merely deluded.

Those that would deny the word “marriage” to those of the same gender but urge full state-granted rights for same gender couples are still sending the message that is causing teen angst albeit to a lesser degree in an age when marriage itself is seen as a joke to most of the population in a country where less than a quarter of families are of the mother-father-child variety.

But for the legislature- and the media for that matter- to conflate them and their possessiveness of the word marriage with the rip roaring homophobes who would deny the state-granted rights identical to marriage to all is “capitol” crime.

“Compromise” is one thing when you’re dealing with something like a budget or conflicting means to an commonly sought end. But when someone wants equal rights compromising is unconscionable when it’s a question of which of rights can one be stripped of.

It’s like saying “we’re want to cut off your arms and legs” and then saying “well ok- let’s compromise... pick one of the four limbs and you can keep it.

We’ll end with one of the comments on DePledge’s blog post that sums it up well.

Kolea said:

Civil unions, even full marriage equality, is becoming recognized in more states each year. Barriers are breaking down, following a pattern similar to that as states abandoned bans on interracial marriage in the 20th Century. (12 states had laws prohibited interracial marriage until 1967!).

Gay rights activists in Hawaii are not going to sign on to Senator Espero's deal offering them less than equal rights. Blacks didn't do it. Asians didn't do it. Women didn't do it. This is a civil rights matter and self-dignity will not allow a group which is being denied equality to affix their signature to a document codifying their less than equal treatment.

30 years ago, Hawaii's legislature was at the forefront of expanding the rights of our people and passing bold, progressive legislation. Today's legislators, with a few exceptions, are timid, uninspired and uninspiring opportunists, filling a seat, but unable to figure how to do their job.


Katy said...

I suppose we can take some grim pleasure in the fact that at least the right-wingnuts now feel obligated to preface every gay-bashing move with the statement "I'm not gay-bashing!"

LoF said...

I actually find Willie's amendments amusing, to say the least. He can't just say "when we say spouse anywhere at law, we also mean 'civil union'" which is what the original 444 does. instead, the Senate Majority Office carefully went through the entire HRS and looked for every instance in which the word "spouse" was used.

The only problem left is what to do with the millions of pages of administrative rules and county ordinances that recognize preferences to "spouses" but not civil unions. The original 444 would solve this, but Willie's proposal of 311 enumerations does not. The devil is in the details!

Doug said...

The bigot's name is Okino, not Oshino. Scorn where scorn is due, please.

Andy Parx said...

Oops- can't even read my own handwritten notes. Okino.

In case anyone is interested Espero sent me the 311 page pdf and I'd be glad to forward it.