Thursday, April 22, 2010


CHANGE TO DECEIVE IN: Our usual attitude toward following the back-room dealing, sunshine-challenged Hawai`i State legislature is similar to that of a baseball catcher trying to catch notoriously unpredictable knuckleball pitchers- just knock it down if you can and wait for it to stop rolling and pick it up.

But still there’s one last push to revive the civil union bill that will have to start from scratch next year if we can’t get a vote out of the house- the same house that passed HB 444 last year when the senate (which passed it this year) balked.

A press release from Citizens for Equal Rights says they are:

inviting people to include themselves in a photo booklet of supporters of civil unions and H.B. 444. The booklet will be given to state House members next week to show mainstream community support for passage of civil unions legislation this session...

Those who plan to lobby legislators are expected to use the booklet as evidence of community support to ask House members to vote on H.B. 444 before the session adjourns.

CFER invites anyone who wants to be included in the equal rights booklet to email their name, photo, and affiliation to . CFER plans to group the photos by community categories such as realtors, lawyers, paddlers, faith groups etc. For more information, the public should send an email to, or go online at .

It’s worth a try and we urge you to lend your face.

But we don’t expect much, not just because the house supporters have all the guts and backbone of a squid but, in large part because even people who know better continue to use the 1998 vote on same gender marriage to claim that “the already people voted on the issue” even though this is a civil unions bill, not a marriage measure.

It’s not to say that same gender couples shouldn’t be entitled to the same misery as opposite gender couple. But if the “leaders” of the movement have decided to fight for this intermediary step despite the fact that marriage equality is sweeping the country and world, so be it.

Speaking of those who should know better, take Honolulu Advertiser columnist and blogger Dave Shapiro- please.

Today he writes:

Supporters of civil unions for gay couples are again pressing for a vote in the Legislature this year, trying to persuade lawmakers that public opinion has changed since voters rejected same-sex marriage by 2 to 1 margin more than a decade ago.

The big question is whether it's public opinion that has significantly changed since 1998 or just Democratic Party politics.

In case his conflationary confection isn’t muddled enough, in answer to a comment he says:

it was absolutely clear in 1998 which way those voters wanted the Legislature to define marriage and the Legislature acted accordingly. The challenge now is to show that sentiment has changed, not to continue playing games with terminology.

That’s bullsh-t... and you know it Dave. Not only does the bill not bestow marriage rights but back in ’98 the supporters of the constitutional amendment to allow the legislature to define marriage as restricted to opposite gender couples said they had nothing against the type of equal rights the civil unions provide, they just wanted to restrict marriage.

You were there Dave- you were editor of the Star-Bulletin and covered it every day.

We were there too by the way and, much to our chagrin, we got it first hand from hundreds of people as we registered them to vote.

It was one of the most miserable of experiences but as fate would have it we had agreed to volunteer to register voters on the county building lawn- as a fundraiser for the League of Women Voters of Kaua`i- during the first year of “Wiki-wiki” registration.

And boy did they come in droves asking “is this where I register to vote against same sex marriage?”.

We had to register all comers, many of whom had never voted before- or likely since. But as we talked to them we came to realize it was the word marriage itself- and certainly not the rights bestowed by it- that people objected to.

To a person they all said they would support allowing everyone, regardless of gender, to enjoy the rights marriage brings but they didn’t want actual marriages to be effected.

This nonsense has gone on for the last two years and even people like Shapiro carelessly spread the false notion that the ‘98 vote has anything to do with HB 444, as the handful of vociferous religious wing-nuts have tried to claim.

Don’t fall for it. While they- and our friend Dave- are entitled to their own opinions they aren’t entitled to their own facts.


Another three day weekend this week- be back Monday.

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