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Hawaii to become next stage in gay marriage debate

By Oskar Garcia

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 10:35 a.m. HST, Oct 26, 2013


The island state that helped make gay marriage a national discussion could be the next state to legalize it after more than two decades.

Many credit a Hawaii case that started in 1990 with prompting action in courts, statehouses and Congress, leading to the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 that was eventually struck down this year by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Now, a special session starting Monday could make Hawaii the newest state to formally legalize gay marriage, a move proponents say would finish the job and exemplify the state's fabled aloha spirit -- while granting equality and spurring tourism.

Opponents have taken up many fronts. Some argue that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Others say the matter should go to a vote, not be rushed outside the regular legislative calendar.

For Dr. Allan Wang, a 56-year-old Hawaii doctor, the issue is about being treated fairly.

"It's unfair that our amazing relationship -- which we've been together over 33 years -- our amazing relationship cannot be acknowledged," Wang said, sitting next to his partner, Tom Humphreys, a longtime molecular biology professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Wang and Humphreys, 77, married in California in July, one month after entering a civil union in Hawaii and after decades of pressing for gay marriage in the state. Humphreys said they were effectively forced to marry outside Hawaii after he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and told he had only a short time to live.

They married exactly one week after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, granting federal benefits to legally married gay couples. Congress had passed the act in 1996 as part of a growing backlash to a case from Hawaii at the time, after a couple tried to apply for a marriage license in 1990.

Differences between civil unions and full-fledged marriage have been a key part of the debate in Hawaii. A lawsuit pending in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals argues that gay couples should be allowed to marry and shouldn't have to settle for civil unions.

In calling the special session that begins Monday, Gov. Neil Abercrombie said passing gay marriage would help resolve the lawsuit and put Hawaii in line with Supreme Court rulings, which don't apply to couples in civil unions.

On Friday, the attorney general of Massachusetts, Martha Coakley, filed a brief in the appeals case and another case from Nevada involving couples who argue the state's ban is not constitutional. Attorneys general from 14 other states are listed as co-counsel.

Coakley said in the filing that civil marriage has been strengthened by removing barriers to access.

"Nevada and Hawaii marriage laws deny gay men and lesbians the fundamental right to marry and codify the second-class status -- for its own sake -- of same-sex couples and their families," the filing said. "Under any standard of constitutional analysis, they cannot survive review."

Lawmakers and followers of Hawaii's Legislature -- which is heavily Democrat -- say they're confident a bill will pass, but not certain.

"It would appear that it's going to be difficult for us to prevail, but we're hopeful," said Father Gary Secor, vicar general of the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu. "The history of the church is that we have not tended to always go with popular or prevailing opinion about things."

Rep. Chris Lee, a Kailua Democrat who supports the bill, said legislators have been bombarded by passionate calls on both sides.

Jim Hochberg, president of Hawaii Family Advocates, said coalitions from every Hawaii island are building to push for a public vote.

"They don't support the concept of same-sex marriage. They don't support the special session," Hochberg said. "They want to vote on it."

The legislative hearings are expected to draw heavy crowds, with an opposition rally planned Monday night.







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BlueDolphin53 wrote:
OK, SA, this is getting a bit too obvious don't you think? I know you want the clicks, but at least post a story that has some new twist to the story....or is truly UPDATED. The other dozen or so stories you have on this matter should be enough. It's also quite disingenuous to call this an update when there is nothing new here. Show some integrity.
on October 25,2013 | 12:48PM
CriticalReader wrote:
BD, you have to look at this article for what it is: Yet another stupendous opportunity to see the latest and later versions of "Tats and Tanlines", as well as the fascinating google whatever adds that are interspersed through the mugs.
on October 25,2013 | 01:13PM
BlueDolphin53 wrote:
I know. Talk about playing to the lowest common denominator. Street Pulse....what a joke.
on October 25,2013 | 01:24PM
Skyler wrote:
It's somewhat disgusting. And 'hottie of the week'? Pure exploitation.
on October 25,2013 | 06:04PM
postmanx wrote:
I wish people cared as much about the 4th Amendment as they do about marriage. This goes for both sides of the debate.
on October 26,2013 | 07:53AM
star08 wrote:
Voters gave the Legislature the say over marriage in 1998. Thatʻs why same-sex marriage will not be voted on again.
on October 26,2013 | 01:44PM
MariaBetty wrote:
This issue is about our children who are symbols of love in a traditional marriage. Sadly the LBGT seek the same thing in all the wrong places.
on October 25,2013 | 02:50PM
false wrote:
ZZZZZZZZZZZZ……..ZZZZZZZZZZZ……..zZZZZZZZZZZz
on October 25,2013 | 04:17PM
kiragirl wrote:
Got that song and the words are " I was looking for love in all the wrong places". It is an oldie but have a new meaning.
on October 25,2013 | 05:58PM
MichaelG wrote:
This issue is fairness for all.
on October 25,2013 | 04:28PM
Skyler wrote:
What's 'fair' is civil unions for all - get the Gov't out of the marriage business.
on October 25,2013 | 06:05PM
peanutgallery wrote:
What a crock! Fairness for all was the glt lobby leaving marriage alone and taking the domestic partnership agreement path, but instead, just like the progressive left always does, it attacks an institution that's been around forever. "Create noting, destroy everything possible." That's the mantra of the progressive left in America.
on October 26,2013 | 02:45AM
Rickyboy wrote:
Back door politics at it's finest. Bend over backwards.
on October 25,2013 | 06:01PM
Dimbulb wrote:
"Nevada and Hawaii marriage laws deny gay men and lesbians" Something that news should quit trying to be politically correct on is that the term, "gay men" refers to homosexuals. The same applies to lesbians. Homosexuals don't want you to use that term because they want to water down the definition to a more acceptable term. The media should use the correct wording so that there is no question as to what they're talking about. Happy men or homosexuals.
on October 26,2013 | 05:09AM
HanabataDays wrote:
Yeah, we should stick to the term "quares". If it's good enough for Texas, it's good enough for the rest of the country.
on October 26,2013 | 05:35AM
coyote wrote:
Bring it to a vote by the people.
on October 26,2013 | 05:21AM
HanabataDays wrote:
Just like we did with anti-miscegenation laws back in the day.
on October 26,2013 | 05:36AM
localguy wrote:
Back in the day this would have been men only, women were not allowed to vote. Took legal action to fix that problem.
on October 26,2013 | 11:04AM
Kuokoa wrote:
Many of these gay people have issues from their past that have caused phychololgical damage. They may have parent issues, sibling issues or other behavior issues but all of it boils down to getting the attention they believe they deserve. So now the attention is on them in Hawaii. Where next? Get help with your problems and let it go already. Why do we non-gay people have to put up with this!
on October 26,2013 | 05:41AM
localguy wrote:
I think the gays are upset the heterosexual couples are claiming ownership to all the marriage, personal, child custody, divorce lawsuit problems as their own. They want their fair share too.
on October 26,2013 | 11:06AM
Anonymous wrote:
Maybe because straight people also "have issues from their past that have caused phychololgical (sic) damage"? They also "may have parent issues, sibling issues or other behavior issues but all of it boils down to getting the attention they believe they deserve." Why do gay people "have to put up with" that?
on October 26,2013 | 02:44PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Let's debate this gay stuff for another (50) fifty years. I'd be fine with that.
on October 26,2013 | 06:53AM
solo3808 wrote:
Let the people decide put it on the voters ballot.
on October 26,2013 | 06:53AM
anthokie wrote:
"Wang and Humphreys, 77, married in California in July" already fulfill your life. why still want same-sex marriage legal in Hawaii? personal matter will stir up the whole society, if the same-sex marriage pass, government will spend more money from tax-payer, more law suits will come up, and more confuse will effect education i don't know governor and Rep Christ Lee represent people from Hawaii or from individual group? let PEOPLE OF HAWAII VOTE FOR A DECISION
on October 26,2013 | 08:16AM
anthokie wrote:
if the same-sex marriage is pass (the law), more law suits will come up by the group of same-sex marriage if you don't follow their rules, with invoive education department, churches, ...
on October 26,2013 | 01:09PM
Anonymous wrote:
Sounds like the religious fanatics to me.
on October 26,2013 | 02:45PM
Poplm wrote:
Money and gay people will come from their New Jersey success and come to hawaii to practice mob democracy. Forget what the people of hawaii want.
on October 26,2013 | 08:42AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Who do you think paid for the anti-marriage commercials being run on television right now? I'll save you the time: The National Organization for Marriage out of Washington, DC. You can check out what the media has said about their funding: http://www.hrc.org/nomexposed/section/what-the-media-say

Complain about "mainland money" all you want, but it's pretty hypocritical to not recognize that it is done in virtually EVERY political race in this state by BOTH sides.


on October 26,2013 | 10:21AM
Poplm wrote:
Don't come close to fags with money bags
on October 26,2013 | 01:36PM
8082062424 wrote:
really stooping to using the word f---g real civil and adult . why should any one take what you say when you use insults
on October 26,2013 | 02:06PM
Anonymous wrote:
Agreed. His/her ignorance is on display for all to see. Shame.
on October 26,2013 | 02:18PM
seaborn wrote:
So, when the gay marriage proposal is passed into law, how will it affect all of you non-gay opponents? Will you be unable to get out of bed knowing gay people are being married? Will it lead to sleep-loss, depression, possibly end up costing your job? Will your strength to live be sapped? Just how will knowing gay people are marrying effect your daily life?
on October 26,2013 | 09:26AM
localguy wrote:
Exactly. There will not be one single change. Life will go on just fine as it always has.
on October 26,2013 | 11:07AM
8082062424 wrote:
It foolish to think there will be no change. This will impact the whole state. In other states if a student say he does not believe this life style is right he sent to the office and punished and the teacher claim the statement is bullying .both sides of this issues should not have the right to push there beliefs or life style on others. this state need to protect the rights of both sides of this issue . not give one special group right and strip the rights of others
on October 26,2013 | 11:35AM
daniwitz13 wrote:
A TRUTH TO BE TOLD TO AND FOR LEGISLATORS Do you know, that our Legislators, you will be voting for the Unknown. As Legislators, they make Laws, and Laws should be based on truths and truths should be able to be proven. Homosexuals, cannot be proven. They cannot present any proof that they are Homosexual. While Homosexuality is studied and is present in our Society, It is not something anyone can detect by sight (even experts cannot) Can you pick out a Homosexual? One right next to you? No. This is why they have to come “out” and make a ‘claim’ that they are Gay. Then, they must not be Gay if they don’t come “out”. If they lied about being Gay, would anyone know? No. SO HOW CAN ONE HAVE DUE PROCESS OF THE LAW if you are ever sued by one? Those that do come “out”, can show no proof that they are Gay. They offer no proof, because it cannot be furnished. If I brought 5 people to you and one of them is Gay, can you pick him out? The answer is NO. If you can, then you can pick out all the ones that have not come “out” yet. If you can’t pick them out, then they are unknowns. If they are unknowns, can you in good conscience vote for the unknown and give them rights and benefits under the emotional word of Equality. Equality can cover everything known or unknown under the sun. You as Legislators know that everything is not equal in our Society, from taxes to death. Do not vote for the unknown regardless of one’s Party’s mandate. Is your Integrity up for a vote If all Democrats vote in unison, then, everyone will know that it was not on the issue, but the Party. It is impossible to have a controversial issue with half for and half against from your constituents and all Democrats vote on the agenda side. Is your integrity in control by others? By your Party? Have I said anything that is untrue? Vote No, to the unknowns, Gays are only one of many other Orientations. To use Equality, is it equality for other Orientations to be shunned by recognizing only one Orientation in our Society. Remember, you are not voting against Equality as they want you to believe, but against one elevated Orientation, above all other Orientations. What about the other Orientations? Do you give them equality too? No. Another truth is that Homosexuality DISCRIMINATES by selecting one gender to the exclusion of the other Gender. E.g. Two Males and no Female. A vote for them is voting for discrimination. Again, is this untrue? To select one Gender over another, is discrimination, which they claim to abhor. Use your integrity to vote logically and not emotionally on this emotional issue. Do not be a Lemming or follow like sheep. And yet another truth. Homosexuality depends on Heterosexuality to make them. Gays are not Equally independent and on their own. They cannot make their own kind. Is that Equality? Can they make Heterosexuals, No. Is that equal or equality? No. If Heterosexuals don’t make them, they don’t exist. Then they call their Maker, “bigots”. Untrue? Do not let the media or Hollywood sway your integrity because it is the “in thing”. Homosexuality has always existed, Great men in the past have NEVER recognized them. Especially on Marriage. Want another truth? The Supreme Court (1967) said that Marriage is a Civil right and is “fundamental to our very existence and survival”. Homosexuality cannot and does not make our existence, hence no survival also.. They are not “fundamental” to anything. Therefore, not “fundamental” to Marriage. This is a truth and no one can deny that the US Supreme Court said it and ruled it as such. Look it up. You know in your heart that these truths are not lies Homosexuality has no Future, and the Future is for your Children. Do not vote against your Children and their Future. Vote for their Future and your Integrity. There are many more, but one last truth. There is ONLY one thing that makes our Mankind and Civilization, a Male and Female. That’s it, nothing else. Everything else in this arrangement are superficial. They all pale in comparison. Take Religion, it is in our Constitution and a foundation for our Constitution and values. But as great as it is, it is separated from our Govt. Not recognized, respected and given no Rights and Benefits. But on the other hand, Orientations are NOT in the Constitution and much lower on the scale in our Society and much lower than Religion. But one must wonder why then it is not separated from Govt. like Religion? Why is it recognized, respected and given Rights and Benefits? Not only is it respected, it is placed right up there with the Maker of Mankind, a position that no other exists, and you will be putting it there if you vote for this Orientation. Like putting it next to GOD. It will be on your conscience for the rest of your life. It is not a matter to say that it will not hurt traditional Marriage, 1% should not hurt it. But it is like a small tear in a fabric that over time will ruin it. One drop of water over time accumulates and may one day, overwhelm. It is a foot in the door. A drop of poison eventually will kill you. And lastly, you dishonor your own Mother and Father by placing an Orientation right up there with them. One that no one comes from. Vote No, for SSM. Do not put them on the same pedestal with your Mother and Father. Thank you and thank your Parents.
on October 26,2013 | 01:01PM
daniwitz13 wrote:
A TRUTH TO BE TOLD TO AND FOR LEGISLATORS Do you know, that our Legislators, you will be voting for the Unknown. As Legislators, they make Laws, and Laws should be based on truths and truths should be able to be proven. Homosexuals, cannot be proven. They cannot present any proof that they are Homosexual. While Homosexuality is studied and is present in our Society, It is not something anyone can detect by sight (even experts cannot) Can you pick out a Homosexual? One right next to you? No. This is why they have to come “out” and make a ‘claim’ that they are Gay. Then, they must not be Gay if they don’t come “out”. If they lied about being Gay, would anyone know? No. SO HOW CAN ONE HAVE DUE PROCESS OF THE LAW if you are ever sued by one? Those that do come “out”, can show no proof that they are Gay. They offer no proof, because it cannot be furnished. If I brought 5 people to you and one of them is Gay, can you pick him out? The answer is NO. If you can, then you can pick out all the ones that have not come “out” yet. If you can’t pick them out, then they are unknowns. If they are unknowns, can you in good conscience vote for the unknown and give them rights and benefits under the emotional word of Equality. Equality can cover everything known or unknown under the sun. You as Legislators know that everything is not equal in our Society, from taxes to death. Do not vote for the unknown regardless of one’s Party’s mandate. Is your Integrity up for a vote
on October 26,2013 | 01:04PM
daniwitz13 wrote:
A TRUTH TO BE TOLD TO AND FOR LEGISLATORS Do you know, that our Legislators, you will be voting for the Unknown. As Legislators, they make Laws, and Laws should be based on truths and truths should be able to be proven. Homosexuals, cannot be proven. They cannot present any proof that they are Homosexual. While Homosexuality is studied and is present in our Society, It is not something anyone can detect by sight (even experts cannot) Can you pick out a Homosexual? One right next to you? No. This is why they have to come “out” and make a ‘claim’ that they are Gay. Then, they must not be Gay if they don’t come “out”. If they lied about being Gay, would anyone know? No. SO HOW CAN ONE HAVE DUE PROCESS OF THE LAW if you are ever sued by one? Those that do come “out”, can show no proof that they are Gay. They offer no proof, because it cannot be furnished. If I brought 5 people to you and one of them is Gay, can you pick him out? The answer is NO. If you can, then you can pick out all the ones that have not come “out” yet. If you can’t pick them out, then they are unknowns. If they are unknowns, can you in good conscience vote for the unknown and give them rights and benefits under the emotional word of Equality. Equality can cover everything known or unknown under the sun. You as Legislators know that everything is not equal in our Society, from taxes to death. Do not vote for the unknown regardless of one’s Party’s mandate. Is your Integrity up for a vote
on October 26,2013 | 01:07PM
TheFarm wrote:
God has a plan for all of us, and I am sure that when the marriage equality bill passes, our misled brothers and sisters opposing it in His name will quickly realize that God truly and always is on the side of love and family above all, and mend their ways.
on October 26,2013 | 01:31PM
8082062424 wrote:
so your saying everyone who opposes this because of faith reasons or they feel it not normal should toss aside there moral or belief system because they all wrong? bit one sided don't you think. we all have the right to set our own moral compass and value system that one of the great things about this country. how about laws that protect both sides of this issue. how about those on both side of this issue learn that the other side has every right to there feeling on this matter. Feeling on this issues run strong and deep. both sides have rights to there feeling. this issue is so big looks how it divides folks. ive never seen a issue here in Hawaii divide the community like this one. native Hawaiian rights come in second but that not as big a issues as this
on October 26,2013 | 02:16PM
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