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Full Circle

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by Brian Leubitz

Way back in 1993, Hawaii started kicking up the first few bits of dust in the same-sex marriage. While I was still in high school, the Supreme Court of the Aloha state ruled that the state should accept same-sex marriages. Before that ruling ever went into effect, however, the state passed an initiative banning same sex marriage. Sound familiar?

Since that time, the state hasn’t really been much of a leader in the fight for full marriage equality. Much of that has to do with the 1993 vote, but years after several other states now have marriage equality that was basically considered some sort of strange joke back then, Hawaii still has no civil unions at all. But that just might change very soon:

In a move that still needs the governor’s signature to become law, the House of Representatives Thursday night approved a measure that has drawn some of the state’s biggest protest rallies.

Republican Gov. Linda Lingle hasn’t said whether she’ll reject it or sign it into law but her office said later that she will carefully review the bill.

The House voted 31-20 in favor of the legislation, which had been stalled but was unexpectedly revived on the last day of this year’s legislative session. The Senate passed it in January.

The measure would grant gay and lesbian couples the same rights and benefits that the state provides to married couples. (AP)

Now, Linda Lingle is a Republican governor in an overwhelmingly Democratic state. By overwhelmingly, I really mean it. Of the 25 Senators, 23 are Democrats. Of the 51 Representatives, 45 are Democratic. That so many Democrats voted against a civil unions bill is a bit disappointing, but at least it was able to pass.

But being that Lingle is a Republican in such a deep blue state, she has had to campaign as being a “different kind” of Republican. Whether she’s different enough to sign a civil unions bill is an open question. That being said, a very solid majority of Americans supports civil unions, and that is true in Hawaii.

We’ll just have to wait and see on this one.

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36 Comments

  • 1. Monty  |  April 30, 2010 at 9:20 am

    It's a start for sure, but looks like it can easily go either way.

  • 2. Michelle Evans  |  April 30, 2010 at 9:21 am

    And as nice as a civil union might be under the law, it is still not marriage!!! I am married, I am not civil unionized.

  • 3. Kathleen  |  April 30, 2010 at 9:27 am

    A correction to the above info: The "vote" which shut the door on same sex marriage in Hawaii happened in 1996, not 1993. It was, like Prop 8, an amendment to the state's constitution. For a good summary of the history of the case and the subsequent backlash, see: http://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/baehr-v

    I was in law school when the Hawaii Supreme Court issued the ruling in Baehr v. Miike. I remember how excited we all were, as it was the first such ruling in any state, and came at a time when Bowers v Hardwick was still the law of the land.

  • 4. Kathleen  |  April 30, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Sorry, a typo in my above post. The date of the vote was 1998, not 1996.

  • 5. fern  |  April 30, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Can you please explain to me if this was the same shit in '98 Hawaii as in California 2008 with pro8?
    In other words did the LGBT leaders knew what would happen and did not react if this would be the case How would you call them?

    alittle more to follow…

  • 6. Ronnie  |  April 30, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Someone on FB is asking people to pray for her home state of Hawaii because the legalized CU's and thinks it is going to lead to Marriage….this is what I have to say to that:

    Honey…you live on a Volcano…If that shite hadn't erupted because of CUs…its not gonna erupt over Marriage either…You know these anti-gay people are more Drama Queens then we are..I mean really?…REALLY?!!…go do a hula or something…"Ohana" means family…nobody gets left behind…you should think about that….<3…Ronnie

  • 7. Ronnie  |  April 30, 2010 at 11:05 am

    "I am not civil unionized."….haha…I love that M.E.

    If I wanted to be in a union…I'd join one…Is I wanted to be a partner…then I would have gone to law school…you feel me?….<3…Ronnie

  • 8. Richard A. Walter (s  |  April 30, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Yes, but hopefully we can soon break out the rainbow leis. If Governor LIngle signs this, I will hit Big Lots and buy all of them I can afford.

  • 9. fern  |  April 30, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I went to a gay bar! this bar takes everything that's gay lez and tonight there was a tranny show (hope tranny doesn't hurt). I'm hetero male but this bar is a good bar I get what I want which is good conversation with not so dumb people.
    My problem is that I like women so I got to talk to them women and they were no dummies so I told them about the courage campaign the prop 8 trial tracker.
    2 years ago a girlfriend threatened to scratch my eyes out but this time I got lucky they said I looked max 55 not like 62 next Sunday.
    My dream; and I'll cross dress if need be; is to picket the U.S. embassy in Brussels and tell the world it's not right for a bunch of bigots to rule the most beautiful place in world, don't take my word for it but look at the Grand canyon, I lived in Page AZ and they do like illegal immigrants who speak four European languages.
    I may need some advice doing my dream so here is my mail box dork5.0 at base .be

    thanks

  • 10. Michelle Evans  |  April 30, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Yes, "tranny" is a word we hopefully all try to avoid. Sort of like the n-word for race, things of that nature. The much less derogatory terms commonly in use today are either crossdresser or drag queen. DG is specifically used for those who are men who make a living performing on stage as women, whereas CD are those again who are totally happy being men, but sometimes will dress in women's clothes, usually for a sexual thrill.

    Then there are people such as myself who are transsexual, meaning that we have the dichotomy where our mind is wired opposite to the gender as our physical body. That's the one where people really have the most trouble understanding. It does not have to mean that you have actually undergone a physical transformation–because that may not be possible for a variety of reasons–but that you are living as the proper gender. In my case it means that I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to have fully transitioned through surgery, the courts, etc.

    All of the above are under the umbrella term "transgender."

    Hope you all don't mind the bit of a trans definition lesson, just find it helps people to understand somewhat.

    Of course this difficulty in understanding also highlights why trans people are often attacked, like the really horrible hate crime at Cal State Long Beach two weeks ago against a trans man. And this in our supposedly liberal and understanding California!

  • 11. Cassie  |  April 30, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I totally agree with you guys on the whole civil union vs. marriage. I want to be allowed to get married, and not just "civil unionized." But ya know, what might go down in HI is pretty damn good. I mean, it's better than what we have here in CA. We don't get the same rights as married couples. (Or do we, and I'm just thinking of federal benefits?)

    This whole thing disgusts me. I mean, I'm a person. Flesh, blood, body. I'm the same as all them damn straight people out there. Yet a lot of them want to deny me the right to marry? Why? Because I prefer women to men? What does that matter? It doesn't. It makes me so sick that people can deny me the right to marry just because of who I want to marry. Do they not understand that they are essentially segregating us from them? I mean, 99% of the people in this country think that segregation and discrimination based on race is wrong. But it's okay to segregate and discriminate on sexual orientation? It doesn't make sense to me!!! It never has. Not even when I was a 12 year old perfect Mormon girl…it didn't make sense.

    My latest reason to live is to see the day when any type of discrimination based on sexual orientation is out lawed, and when same-sex marriage is legalized, with THE SAME EXACT rights as straight couples.

  • 12. Kathleen  |  April 30, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    I couldn't agree with you more, Cassie.

    And, btw, it's great to "see" you again. I've wondered how you're doing. If I recall correctly, you still live at home, right? How long until you'll be on your own?

  • 13. Brian Leubitz  |  April 30, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    @fern

    No, the Hawaii thing was more like us in 2000 with Prop 22. There was really no chance of victory in the 90s, it would have been preposterous to suggest otherwise.

    Kind of shows how far we've come in a pretty short period.

  • 14. RebeccaRGB  |  April 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Expanding on Michelle's explanations, here's a full trans definition lesson:
    http://www.yaygender.net/localresources/TGUmbrell
    http://www.yaygender.net/localresources/SGOExtend

    :)

  • 15. Sagesse  |  May 1, 2010 at 12:05 am

    A radical idea. The US Supreme Court should clean up its criteria for civil rights. Forget the three levels of protection, forget the three tests for 'suspect class'. Other jurisdictions, like Canada and the EU don't use them. Rights are rights… if you are a human being and a citizen or legal resident, you have them. Whenever you have a law that identifies a group within society and withholds rights from them (or permits unequal treatment, for example, in employment or housing), you strike it down.

    Because, once the rights of LGBT are established, the bigots are just going to take another swipe at women (what reproductive rights) and the illegal immigrants (who just happen to be Hispanic) and then they'll define a new group to go after… the Gingers, or the Mutants (X-men, anyone) or….

    Enough already.

  • 16. truthspew  |  May 1, 2010 at 1:38 am

    HI is like RI. Overwhelmingly Democrat in the house, senate and general offices except for Governor which has trended Republican for the last 20 years. There are about 113 elected state positions, I believe 11 are held by Republicans. Lopsided hell yes.

    Our governor obstinate and bigoted asshole,. His name is Don Carcieri. Thankfully his ass is term limited.

    We pretty much have the house on lock right now with enough votes for a veto proof majority. The senate is another matter. Not much has been done there though I have spoken to my senator and we've got maybe 10 senators ready to see this through at the moment. There are 38 senators.

    I keep saying we need to get the senate to move because I'd love to send this bon mot to Carcieri as he leaves office. In other words, you can veto but we have the votes to override.

  • 17. Papa Foma  |  May 1, 2010 at 3:17 am

    Hi TS,
    I was wondering if you had any articles regarding RI legislation that you would like to share. You said there were 10 senators ready to see 'this' through…I was wondering what the 'this' was. (I am not up on all the legislation sorry.) PF

  • 18. Wade MacMorrighan  |  May 1, 2010 at 4:23 am

    The Christian religion in Hawaii is FAR too powerful!!! In fact, back before DOMA, a local Buddhist sect had to go to the SCOTUS (if I remember correctly) and declare that the Mormons and Christianity did NOT represent the views of "all religions" (which is what they were trying to tell the Court and the state). Remember, Marriage Equality was legal in HI for a brief time, before being invalidated retroactively; but, it FREAKED OUT the Fed. gummit who were all, like, "Those nasty queers will be bringing their fraudulent marriage licenses to the mainland, and sue to have them recognized!" After all, white heterosexual males always seem to have someone they need to subjugate, right?

    And, who the hell keeps convincing str8 Americans that it's okay, and even American to want to vote on the rights and civil liberties of a minority…ever?!?!?! I WANT NAMES!!! …and addresses. MUWAHAHAHA!!!

    BTW, have I told y'all, yet, that Maggie Gallagher once famously said on CNN/ Lou Dobbs (and no one asked her why this was "right" or non-bigoted): "I am the one who is standing for the right of American taxpayers not to have a union, same-sex union treated as marriage without their consent!"

    Oh, and for those that are bitching, now, about "Civil Unions" and "Domestic partnerships", just remind them that their argument USED to be that they were FINE with CUs and DPs, just as long as we weren't allowed to use the word "marriage"! Well, look at what they're doing NOW!!!

    Now, what *I* don't understand, is this: After the law in Hawaii was changed, why was the gov't not sued to have the courts over-rule the unjust law?

    Oh, and someone DESPERATELY needs to correct the AP, here…it's been studied and found that NO WHERE and at NO TIME, or in ANY WAY do DPs and CUs provide the SAME "rights" as marriage under the state…any state, anywhere! They need to be brought up to date and stop misinforming people, Because, it's having the effect of convincing people that, in this case, "separate" really *is* "equal"!

  • 19. Ronnie  |  May 1, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    People NOM has officially crossed the line….Over at their face book page they are telling people to join:

    The Marriage Minuteman Corps

    This from their FB page:

    Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman ATTENTION ALL MARRIAGE DEFENDERS: We are issuing a call for volunteers to stand up for traditional marriage by joining into our Marriage Minutemen Corps (MMC). Use the link below for more information and to enlist. We are counting on you to take action.
    Marriage Minutemen Corps (MMC) http://www.surveymonkey.com
    Please fill out the following information to join our Marriage Minutement Corps.The Marriage Minuteman Corps is made up of citizens like you who are ready to stand up at a minute's notice for the cause …

    (me) Definition of a Minuteman from Webster's dictionary:

    Main Entry: min·ute·man
    Pronunciation: ˈmi-nət-ˌman
    Function: noun
    Date: 1774
    : a member of a group of men pledged to take up arms at a minute's notice during and immediately before the American Revolution.

    Dictionary.com:

    Min·ute·man   [min-it-man] Show IPA
    –noun,plural-men.
    1.
    (sometimes lowercase) a member of a group of American militiamen just before and during the Revolutionary War who held themselves in readiness for instant military service.
    2.
    a U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile with three stages, powered by solid-propellant rocket engines.
    3.
    a member of a small, secret, ultraconservative organization formed into armed groups for the declared purpose of conducting guerrilla warfare against a communist invasion of the U.S.
    Origin:
    1765–75, Americanism; minute1 + man1

    (me) Call your local police, contact your lawyers. send this to everyone you know….They are building an army…this is a call for violence by NOM….we cannot let them do this. Their FB page talks about making homosexuals illegal using the Bible as source. I am not Christian and the Bible is not American Law. Something needs to be done to stop them once and for all…..<3…Ronnie

  • 20. Ronnie  |  May 1, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    And NOM if your reading this….and think of changing the name and what you are doing….I have screenshots of everything….so there is no hiding this one…you really f-ed up this time…. : / …..Ronnie

  • 21. Kathleen  |  May 1, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Ronnie, the "Marriage Minutemen Corps" has been around at least since last summer, maybe earlier. They were active in NJ for a while. <a href="http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:ImPGDiuXJgoJ :www.njfpc.org/html/email/Newsletter-07-01-09.html+marriage+minutemen&cd=12&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a” target=”_blank”>http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=ca…” target=”_blank”>:www.njfpc.org/html/email/Newsletter-07-01-09.html+marriage+minutemen&cd=12&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

    And as much as I detest NOM and everything they stand for, I don't see anything in the literature that suggests they're advocating violence. I admit the name is provocative, but I think it is more symbolic (ready to act at a minute's notice) than literal in its reference to the early armed patriots during the American Revolution. If you see anything that promotes violence, I will gladly report it.

  • 22. Ronnie  |  May 1, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I have screenshots of this post and several people have asked what this is about mentioning that is a violent notion…NOM has not responded..because its true….they are a contradiction of terms….they keep saying that you can't change the definition of marriage…well then you can't change the definition of minutemen…this is a direct call for violence and by not denying it….the leave it to o be accepted as true….there are several violent comments on their page and I have reported it several times….nothing

  • 23. Cassie  |  May 1, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Aww, Kathleen, you probably have no idea how happy your comment made me. :)

    I still check the tracker everyday, but don't always have the time or feel the need to comment. Yeah, I'm still at home. *sigh* I'm doing all right. Nothing major to report. Well, graduation is June 11th, and then freshman orientation is August 17th. Trust me, I'm countin' down the days 'til August 17th!! August 17th starts the reinvention of me. I'm thrilled beyond belief.

    Have you, or anyone, heard of a book called "In Quiet Desperation?" My mom has apparently been reading it, and asked me about a month ago if I'd like to read it. I said yes (to see what information she was getting) and she finally gave it to me. Put it on my bed and didn't mention it, like it didn't exist. I'm kind of afraid of what it's going to say. I'm pretty sure it's a Mormon/gay book, but it might just be Christian? I don't know, should I be afraid of it? In response I just went out and bought a book called "Straight Parents, Gay Child" or something along those lines. I plan to read and annotate/highlight it and give it to my parents when I officially leave for college. Any parent/adult…good idea or bad?

  • 24. David Kimble  |  May 1, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Kathleen, I'm with Ronnie here. This kind of inane actions can only provide fuel for a fire they are fanning and igniting at every opportunity. Words matter and from my perspective they have crossed the line on more than one ocassion. <3 David

  • 25. PamC  |  May 2, 2010 at 1:11 am

    I second that; NOM chooses its words very carefully–note how they say "take action" without specifying what type of action–I think they use such "loaded" terms purposefully. And the midwest militia groups will get their signals loud and clear.

  • 26. Kathleen  |  May 2, 2010 at 3:48 am

    Cassie, I'm so glad to hear you're leaving soon. I think you said before, but my memory's so lousy… where will you going to school?

    Your question about leaving a highlighted book for your parents. I think any attempt to communicate with them, as long as it doesn't add too much to your stress, is good. And who knows, sometimes those little seeds planted kind of sprout later when the conditions are right. But you need to do what feels right for you, and you need to take care of yourself above all.

    Are you on facebook? If so, you can find me by going to the "Prop 8 Trial Trackers" facebook page and find me on the wall — kathleen perrin. You don't need to friend me — just send a private message and then I can send you my email address. I'd love it if you would keep in touch and let me know how you're doing… and if you want someone to talk to, well, I'm here. I was "almost" raised Mormon. My dad's family was Mormon, I was even baptized Mormon! But my mother's atheism spared me any real indoctrination.

  • 27. Andrea  |  May 2, 2010 at 4:12 am

    @Cassie:

    Oh yeah, I've heard of that book. It's dangerous. The basic idea is to get you to either stay in the closet (and keep tithing!) or else find a way to die (and leave all your assets to the so-called "church.") Note whose interest this really serves.

    It has nothing to do with helping you or your mom, and probably messed her up worse for having read it. Be very careful – if you decide to crack the cover of that abomination, do it with eyes wide-open knowing what its true purpose is.

    One other thing, this:

    Put it on my bed and didn’t mention it, like it didn’t exist.

    Whoa. I've seen that movie before. That is a big honking red-flag warning sign of toxic parenting right there.

    The lack of communication is designed to keep you off-balance and guessing at what's expected of you. You can expect an interrogation afterward; God help you if you didn't get the same message from it she did. It's a power-trip, set up to keep you insecure, so you have beg for her approval. Putting it on your bed instead of your desk is designed to send the message that you're not safe where you sleep. Nasty, nasty tactic.

    The college thing might also be a trap… you're not planning to go to BYU are you? There are people there who will keep tabs on you and report to your parents if you… what's the word they use… "backslide?"

    And yeah, I am a parent as a matter of fact, and I'm not shy about wringing the neck of any other parent I know who acts out on their kids like this.

    And marriage – real marriage not this pat-on-the-head "CU/DP" junk – is the only sure way to break the next-of-kin bond. That's why they fight it so badly; it's the only way to get away from them and that's the last thing they want. This is totally what those "Father's Rights" clowns are really on about.

  • 28. Kathleen  |  May 2, 2010 at 5:06 am

    Cassie, I probably shouldn't leave posts before having my am coffee. I hope you know that my comment re: a book had to do with your idea of leaving an annotated copy of “Straight Parents, Gay Child” for your parents when you leave. I haven't read either book and am glad Andrea can comment on the one your parents gave you (I just assumed it was bad news). I agree about toxic parenting.

    I'm also a mom–two grown sons, both married, with 2 children each (it's a running joke in my family that the boys know I'm disappointed that neither is gay). :) Seriously, though, as a parent, I really can NOT understand parents rejecting their glbt children; it's just so outside of my own experience of my feelings for my children. To me, it's a sign of how powerfully dangerous religion is that religious beliefs seem to override the natural inclination of parents to love, protect and support their children. It makes me want to adopt all the world's glbt children and shower them with acceptance and love.

  • 29. Cassie  |  May 2, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Andrea,

    I pretty much figured even before I asked that the book said exactly what you wrote. I really only want to read it to see what info she got and to try and correct it. You don't have to worry, I am almost completely out of the closet and haven't paid tithing in about a year or two. It's done wonders for my bank account! Your comment about my mom putting the book on my bed and not mentioning it…so true. I really don't know what's expected of me. I just try not to piss off my parents. No, no way. I'm not going to BYU. Even when I was the perfect Mormon girl I didn't want to go there. The school's too big for me. I like a littler campus. Thanks so much for your comments, btw. I love feeling accepted and cared about, even if you're a stranger.

    Kathleen,
    I'll go find you on facebook and reply to your comments in a message. Thank you so much. :)

  • 30. Sheryl Beckett  |  May 3, 2010 at 7:05 am

    This is specifically for Cassie and I hope she sees it. But it applies equally to anyone else in her situation. Cassie, since your parents are LDS, an excellent book to leave for them would be "No More Good-byes" by Carol Lynn Pearson who is also LDS. Perhaps hearing from an LDS person about loving your children who are gay will be more effective than from an "outsider."

    I'm Mormon and my son is gay and I would not change anything about him.

  • 31. Lori  |  May 3, 2010 at 7:22 am

    I definitely agree… though for some reason my mom doesn't seem to get that the term matters. She's tolerant, just a little bit ignorant about some things. (Mostly gender stuff)

    Cassie – where are you going to school next year? I'm also heading off to college, so I'm a little bit irrationally curious.

  • 32. Straight Grandmother  |  May 3, 2010 at 10:47 am

    I think it is very important for all of us straight people who support and love our GLBT family members to post. It shows people like Cassie and others like her, who are in a difficult family situation due to their sexual orientation that there ARE loving families who love based on who you are and not who you love. Just know all families are NOT like your family. I know when my son came out to us that reading the PFLAG website that he told me to go read was a HUGE help. Instead of leaving them a book Cassie, how about simply asking them to read PFLAG while you are gone.

  • 33. Cassie  |  May 3, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Haha…Lori, you're funny. I'm going to University of the Pacific in California. How about you?

  • 34. Andrea  |  May 4, 2010 at 1:00 am

    @Cassie – I wish I'd had my head on as tight as you do back when I was 17. Thanks for writing back, I was worried I might have been "projecting."

    UoP is a really good school. Since you said you liked smaller schools, I guess you're going to one of the central-valley campuses, not SF? Cheaper living out there, and fewer annoying distractions than SF. UC Davis is nearby and has a great social scene if your homework is done and you're feeling restless. (The SF campus is somewhat isolated on the north end of the city away from most of the hubbub, but it's still SF. They graduate some world-class dentists though).

  • 35. Lori  |  May 4, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Nice. I'm going to Pomona College in SoCal (east of LA).

  • 36. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 26, 2010 at 1:28 am

    Kudos to North Carolina Congressman David Price for standing up for this brave young lady. This is another detrimental effect of DADT, and another reason it needs to go. http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/05/26/501461/for

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