MAZIE HIRONO – This is a landmark day for the State of Hawaii.  I want to recognize the hard work of Hawaii’s lawmakers and grass roots organizations that made this moment possible.

This legislation (SB 232) is about equality and providing basic civil rights and protections to all people of Hawaii.

I appreciate the legislature’s action on this measure and share Governor Abercrombie’s respect for our island’s diversity and constitutional rights.

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono represents Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, which includes rural Oahu, the Neighbor Islands: Kahoolawe, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Niihau, Hawaii Island and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. She is a member of the House Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

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  1. “This legislation (SB 232) is about equality and providing basic civil rights and protections to all people of Hawaii.”

    “Equal civil rights” would mean: no “special civil rights” for anyone, as in:

    1. U.S. so called Akaka Bill under consideration – special privileges sought for native Hawaiians

    2. Richardson’s special privileges for people of (some) Hawaiian blood – accepted into State law

    3. Indian reservations – special privileges and free land

    4. Ni`ihau island – If shores/beaches are public in the USA, why can’t we land there to sun bathe? Don’t we have equal civil rights?

    5. Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument – Pictures of the reserve look great! Why don’t we have equal civil rights to canoe there?

    6. Kamehameha Schools – “…dedicated primarily to the education of native Hawaiian students.” What does “primarily” mean?

    Essentially, we always have to qualify for special rights. Since by law certain people get special rights, it follows that “equal civil rights” is only a slogan – a form of free speech.

    The notion of “equal civil rights” sounds logical. But instead of simplifying matters, it creates more confusion.
    Next step, to be consistent, honorable Rep. Hirono, is to level off the special rights some Hawaiians get in Hawaii with the rest of us citizens. Or don’t you really mean equality?

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