Most people in Hawaii don’t favor Same-Sex Civil Union legislation. The people of Hawaii decided this issue in 1998 when 70% of the people voted in support of a constitutional amendment, which effectively preserved marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman.

Unfortunately, civil union legislation (House Bill 908, relating to Civil Unions) is gaining eager support by lawmakers this year. When will people of faith who value traditional family values begin to take a greater interest in the legislative process?

For example, 2006 was an election year for every single member of the Hawaii State House and a hand-full of State Senators. Some of you probably received brochures and postcards in the mail asking you to vote for one political candidate or another. Maybe some candidates came knocking on your door or called you personally over the telephone asking for your vote.

Was there a single political candidate in 2006 who campaigned on the promise of supporting Same-Sex Civil Union legislation if elected? Of course not! Successful politicians are taught early on to avoid public debate and discussion about contentious social issues at all cost.

Instead, candidates in Hawaii come knocking on our doors promising better schools and jobs. We like the way they look, their last name, and unfortunately, the political party they belong to. In return, we give them our vote and fail to dig deeper to find out where they stand on “important” issues of the day relating to faith and family.

Once elected or re-elected, many of these same politicians will actively support anti-family legislation knowing full-well most of their constituents will never find out. Chances are your own state lawmaker is supporting anti-family legislation and you don’t even know it.

The time is NOW to hold our state lawmakers accountable regardless of political party, race, and gender. It’s up to you to contact them personally and tell them you live in their district and will work hard next election to have them voted out of office if they support same-sex civil unions or other bad pieces of legislation.

Forty-one states have laws protecting traditional marriage. Twenty-seven states have passed constitutional amendments to define marriage as a relationship between “one man and one woman”.

Only one state, Massachusetts, has gay marriage. Only three states currently have civil unions: Connecticut, New Jersey, and Vermont.
Civil union legislation is an insult to the people of Hawaii because it is marriage by another name. It gives all the same rights and benefits that the state awards for marriage to same-sex couples.

Same-sex couples have made it clear that they don’t really support civil unions in the first place. In Letters to the Editor and in Opinion Columns, gays and lesbians have made it clear that they think civil unions are a “second class” status and what they really want is marriage.

Gays and lesbians had an opportunity to support legislation this session to expand the current Reciprocal Beneficiary law, which would have provided health benefits for same-sex couples. But they refused to even consider amending the RB law. This showed their true colors–that it’s not really about the benefits, but about the state officially recognizing their relationships.

HB 908 is especially bad, because it would allow an older gay man or lesbian woman to enter a civil union with a 16-year-old.

”’Garret T. Hashimoto is State Chairman of the Hawaii Christian Coalition. Reach him via email at mailto:alerts@hi-christian.com

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