Rep. Mark Takai is a congressional candidate in 2014
Rep. Mark Takai is a congressional candidate in 2014

By Rep. K. Mark Takai (D-Aiea) – There have been few issues that I have grappled with more than same sex marriage in Hawaii. I have wrestled with my thoughts, my values, my faith and what I believe to be the best way forward. The world has changed – and so have I.

Since the ruling earlier this summer by the U.S. Supreme Court on Article III of the Defense of Marriage Act, this issue has had wide-spread attention in Hawaii and throughout the nation. Indeed, as elected leaders from President Obama to our Congressional delegation in Hawaii have stated their own positions, I’ve listened carefully.

I have served alongside gays and lesbians as a member of the Hawaii National Guard. The leadership taken by the Joint Chiefs of Staff has emboldened me to be a leader for Hawaii. The Servicemembers who I have worked with during my 14-years in the National Guard have underscored the importance of treating everyone fairly. And time and again, our men and women in uniform have risen to the challenge as society has changed around them.

Hawaii citizens, like most Americans, increasingly support marriage equality for our gay and lesbian friends, neighbors, colleagues and families. And through my own soul searching and thinking about this issue, I have come to agree.

I have heard from faith leaders and congregants on both sides of this issue, and I deeply respect their own deliberations and the strong feelings that so many have with regard to the marriage question. I have come to my own decision after careful consideration, in concert with my own values and faith, and it is my deepest hope that once this matter is concluded, we can set aside whatever differences remain and work together for Hawaii.

But leadership is about making tough calls, and today I stand firm in mine: There are no good reasons to continue to prevent every Hawaii resident from exercising his or her right to marry the person he or she loves.

It’s time that laws in Hawaii reflect the Aloha spirit and I will join with the majority in the State House to pass the marriage equality bill.

Takai is a 19-year member of the Hawaii State House. Takai serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans, Military, and International Affairs, and Culture and the Arts. He is also a Lt. Colonel in the Hawaii Army National Guard. In 2009, Takai deployed with the Hawaii Army National Guard to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

K. Mark Takai is a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard. Use of his military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not express or imply endorsement by the Hawaii Army National Guard, the Department of the Army, or the Department of Defense.

Comments

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67 COMMENTS

    • No, "Guest", I don't work for Freedom to Marry. I'm just concerned about all people having the unalienable rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as well as a concept that YOU probably pledge allegiance to – namely, "Liberty and Justice for ALL".

      And, it seems that 58% of the people agree with me on this.

      • 1) "having the unalienable rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness"
        The LIBERAL Time magazine's July 8-15 issue, pg.40-41, essay on happiness states, the main theme is PURSUIT, not to find. Even Time knows that this phrase does NOT mean you can do whatever you want.
        Marriage is a privelage. NOT a right.

        2) You forgot, "One nation, under God"

        3) And where did you find "58%" What poll?

      • 1) Forbidding some citizens from marrying denies them the pursuit of their happiness.

        1a) Marriage is a right. A "basic, human, civil right" – per the SC(R)OTUS, 14 times.

        2) I prefer the original version.

        2a) ALL people have freedom of religious belief. It is not the exclusive preserve of those who believe in your version of god.

        3) From "Gay marriage support hits new high in Post-ABC poll" (at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/20… ) which says, "The poll shows that 58 percent of Americans now believe it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to get married; 36 percent say it should be illegal."

        But that poll was almost 9 months ago so it's likely even higher now. Thanks for asking. So many people don't seem to know this, so try and tell as many people as you can. Information is our friend.

      • Your Washington post poll is invalid as a fact.
        Quote, "among a random national sample of 1,001 adults. The margin of sampling error for the full survey is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points."
        THAT's only 200 per state, if they really did call each state.

        Quote, "In the current data, about three-quarters of those who do not see homosexuality as a choice support gay marriage, with most supporting it "strongly." More than two-thirds of those who see it as a choice oppose gay marriage, with almost all intensely against it."

        YEP Information is our friend.
        SO GEORGE, assuming a lot on 1 poll is not scientific fact.
        And Hawaii is STILL opposed to SSM as the legislators didn't listen to the majority, no poll here either. screamers.

  1. @ George and george- you guys keep mentioning parts of the preamble to the declaration of independence.such as " All men are created equal" and "Liberty and justice for all" or "…unalienable rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness". ok,cool! we are all created equal human beings.not as gays or straights,or bi-sexual or trans-sexual but as living human beings.and if gays want to marry, I couldn't care less.and if the state of Hawaii legalizes same sex marriage,that's cool too.as long as voters and residents vote for it and if it don't enfringe on my individual liberties and freedom.gay marriage is something I'm not going to worry about.I'll mind my own business and hope that all you gays mind your own businesses also and leave me alone.

  2. Sorry but we don't get to vote on unalienable rights. Subjecting SOME citizens' unalienable rights to a popularity contest is an obscenity unworthy of America's promises.

    You seem to be minding other people's business with your opposition to things that are none of your concern.

  3. my opposition is to all marriage rights that have been turned over to a governmentand the n become a special interest group to extract priviledges,entitlements,concessions,tax credits,monetary allowances,social securitybenefits,immigration short-cuts,welfare benefits,etc at the expense of single people and others.i imagine that the average gay person would also be offended by this aggressive redistributionof your hard-earned money that is forcibly taken out of your wages as taxes. ever since hetero-sexuals decided to surrender their rights and responsibilities of marriage to a third-party,the State, and give them total control and a monopoly power to grant priviledges which theState cannot do. WHY?? Because it is outside the bounds of government to impose its power upon it.not even with judicial process or through legislation.but if advocates of gay marriage or straight marriage or denial of marriage to certain groups demand the State of Hawaii to legalize a marriage,even though marriage is an unalienable right, then the consent of the governed should be exercised thru a referendum.the state cannot act on its own.that is tyranny.

    • Single people have the option to GET married if they want the burdens and obligations of marriage along with the privileges and benefits. And, it is because of those that people DO choose to get married. (Which is why your crusade to eliminate marriage is never going to take root let alone flourish/succeed.) Nothing's being withheld from any single person who has the option to get married.

      I am an "average gay person" and I think your notion is barmy. Good luck with your campaign, 'cuz you're gonna need it.

  4. what campaign?to eliminate marriage?no way,dude. I am married. I think you are not getting my point,george.please go back and re-read all my comments.people have a right to marry.marriage existed on its own long before the laws of our country or most countries.marriage is a fundamental unalienable right,like life, religion,liberty.It is a right of the people,and not to be defined,established or infringed upon by a government.unfortunately,thruout our American history we have allowed the State to intrude in marriage.that is why special interst groups are trying to keep gays and others from getting married sanctified by the State.my point is,gays have a right to marryand because it is an unalienable right that ALL of us have,you don't need the government's permission.but allof us have to decide to keep marriage a private affair. the only duty of the State is to recognize all marriages,gay,straight,whatever, for what it is.

    • Re: "please go back and re-read all my comments"

      Why would I waste my time by doing that?

      Re: "the only duty of the State is to recognize all marriages, gay [or] straight"

      ALL of your prior posts are antithetical to that. Hmmm …

  5. @Guest- after the dust settles on the SSM thing,we can all turn our energy on legalizing gambling and marijuana in our state.I'm sure we can attract the tourists when gays and straights can gamble,get high and then get married.(I'm going to open a pawn shop right next to a casino!).

    • Still waiting for gay tourists to make a difference here, & your gambling or marijuana bills are D.O.A. during this legislative session.
      And still waiting for your reply to B.E.D.'s "B.O.'s hand was on his Muslim book" comments in preparing for B.O.'s recent visit.

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