Two versions of a release from the Civil Unions-Civil Rights Movement and the Gay & Lesbian Community Center were sent out last week. One version of the request for support was posted on the gayhawaii.com bulletin board (where, among other things, promiscuous gay men look for quickies) on Feb. 6, which started with the following:
”'”Dear Friends: It is time for ACTION from all of us again!! The Civil Unions Bill has been re-introduced again this session.(The new Governor said she would not oppose it if it got to her desk. I know many of you who voted for Governor Lingle wanted “change”; please do your part now to bring it to reality.) We need the below Senators (most importantly if YOU live in their district) to hear from you NOW so it can proceed to hearings. If there is one organization that should never discriminate, it’s our government. Say it clearly and ask them to support HB 1024. Please forward this to your private list NOW.””’
This is very deceptive. Linda Lingle never said she would sign or approve a civil unions bill if it arrived at her desk as governor.
Another version of the same solicitation for support went out by direct email from the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Hawaii, which ended with the following quote: ”'”Pau. Illegal president, illegal war–placard at S.F. anti-war rally.””’
It’s a pathetic slap at President Bush and the administration for his lead on the War on Terrorism. Many gay liberals and liberationists in Hawaii and elsewhere across the country have forgotten the tragedy of 9/11. To many of them it was an isolated incident. Many are affiliated with appeasement-based anti-war/pro-Saddam leftist causes.
We certainly wanted change in Hawaii; they seem to not understand that they are a big part of the problem for open and private gays and lesbians here.
We never belonged on their plantation, and an increasing number are walking away from their neo-’60s activism. Hawaii’s gay-liberal
establishment-activists want Republican monetary and political support when it is convenient for them, but they regard us as second-class citizens, if not worse. They are pathologically anti-business and anti-free enterprise, too. There is no reason to support a Center that is so partisan, rubber-stamp for an increasingly left-leaning Hawaii Democratic Party and political transvestites that claim affiliation, but have virtually no following or respect, in the Hawaii Republican Party.
Proudly and consistently conservative, Log Cabin Republicans of Hawaii regards civil unions as a non-issue. LCR Hawaii is focused on building a better business climate for ALL Hawaii’s individuals and families, decentralized public schools, restored trust in government, a strong national defense, and most importantly, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which Republicans have taken the lead on under President Bush and his administration after years of neglect and ignorance by the Clinton Administration.
Then-state representative and “maverick” democrat Ed Case, who now represents Hawaii’s Second Congressional District, was the first to introduce a civil unions bill. Will he lobby for it now? It was allowed to die in committee in the State House the first time. Will that happen again? Will they bring the bill out to a floor vote? What if they don’t? Will Congressman Ed Case lobby for civil unions in Hawaii? Time will tell.
The Hawaii Democrats hold a majority in both state houses. They can send this to the floor for a vote if they want to.
The rest of the message from the Gay & Lesbian Community Center and the Civil Unions-Civil Rights Movement reads as follows:
”'”The Civil Unions-Civil Rights Movement has been working feverishly to get the Civil Unions Bill moving and we need the help of the community to be successful. Several Senators are key and we need the constituents of those Senators to call or email their Senators and express support for the Civil Unions Bill, HB 1024: Those Senators are:”’
*Senator Lorraine Inouye, 1st District (Honokaa-Hilo) 974-4000, ext 67335, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
*Senator Gordon Trimble, 12th District,(Waikiki-Downtown) 586-7100, mailto:email@example.com
*Senator Donna Mercado Kim, 14th District,(Alewa Heights-Aiea) 587-7200, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
*Senator Ron Menor, 17th District, (Waipahu-Mililani) 586-6740, mailto:email@example.com
*Senator Cal Kawamoto, 18th District, (Pearl City-Waipahu)586-6970, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
*Senator Brian Kanno, 19th District, (Makakilo-Waipahu-Waikele) 586-6830, mailto:email@example.com
*Senator Willie Espero, 20th District,(Waipahu-`Ewa -`Ewa Beach) 586-6360, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
*Senator Robert Bunda, 22nd District, (Wahiawa-Haleiwa -Sunset Beach) 586-6090, mailto:email@example.com
*Senator Bob Hogue, 24th District, (Kaneohe-Kailua) 587-7215, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
”’Calling in the next two days is critical. It won’t take but a minute or two. You can ask to speak to the Senator, or to leave a message with a staffer. Again, these Senators have to hear from their constituents. Please call them at your earliest convenience regarding the Civil Unions Bill, HB 1024.”’
”’And now is the time to get ready to present testimony, to drafting a final form. You will need to have these testimonies ready to go, as usually there will be less that 24 hours between the time we’re notified of a hearing and the cut-off deadline to submit your testimony. Please write your own testimony. Testimony that is “cookie cutter” or appears to be copied from someone else’s testimony will be discounted. Talking points are listed at the end of this post, for your convenience. Do not copy them. If you must, reword as your own language is best. Also of note: since this is a partnership bill, it would be most effective if signatures are presented representing same-sex households, i.e. one testimony with two signatures. If we are lucky enough to get this bill moving, we only have five working days maximum, so you can see the importance of being ready.”’
”’Following is a testimony template which can be used when crafting
testimony. Instructional items are colorized, please make sure that they’re removed before submitting your testimony. Some items can be left as is, others need to be added, as noted.”’
February ___, 2003 (Date that testimony is to be submitted)
Honorable Representative Eric Hamakawa, Chair, House Judiciary Committee; Honorable Representative Blake Oshiro, Vice-Chair, House Judiciary Committee; Honorable Members of the House Judiciary Committee
TESTIMONY SUPPORTING HB 1024, Relating to Civil Unions (NOTE THE BOLDING AND FONTING)
Hearing Scheduled for February ____, 2003, ___ (time and am or pm), Room
____ (DATE, TIME AND ROOM NUMBER WILL BE FURNISHED WITH ACTION ALERTS)
Sergeant-at-Arms: Please make 35 copies and distribute accordingly
[BODY OF THE TESTIMONY–YOUR REASONS WHY YOU THINK CIVIL UNIONS SHOULD BECOME AVAILABLE IN HAWAII, KEEP IT SHORT–ONE PAGE TOTAL IS BEST]
Contact info: Residence Address, Phone, E-mail
”’For HOUSE Hearings, testimony must be sent 24 hours prior to the hearing, which means there is a maximum of 24 hours by the time we learn of a hearing and the time that the testimony is due. (Please note that the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms has a different set of fax numbers, and the Senate does not accept emailed testimony, unlike the House at this juncture).
*Faxing from Oahu: 586-6501
*Faxing toll-free from the Big Island: 974-4000 x66501
*Faxing toll-free from Maui: 984-2400 x66501
*Faxing toll-free from Kauai: 274-3141 x66501
*Faxing toll-free from Molokai and Lanai, 1-800-468-4644 x66501
TALKING POINTS: HB 1024
*HB 1024 satisfies the court ruling in the 1996 Baehr v. Miike case in that it allows for the rights, obligations and duties of marriage to be passed to couples without regard to gender (sex), as not to do so violates Article I, Section 5 of the Hawaii State Constitution, forbidding discrimination based on gender (sex).
*HB 1024 does not require religious solemnization, but rather the whole application process is handled by the Department of Health. Religions and the participants may opt to hold ceremonies, but they are not required to do so.
*HB 1024 addresses the concerns of the business community relative to health insurance costs, as a civil union requires the same type process of dissolution as a marriage, i.e. by divorce through family court. Civil Unions are not as fluid as the current Reciprocal Beneficiary Law, which allows for dissolution without even having to inform the other partner.
*HB 1024 is not gender-specific as it allows for two people who are otherwise able to enter into a contractual arrangement to enter into a civil union. A heterosexual couple may enter into it.
*HB 1024 sets a minimum age requirement of 18. For marriage, the minimal age is 16 without parental consent, and 15 with.
*HB 1024 forbids a partner from being a member of another civil union or a marriage.
*HB 1024 would allow for state recognition of substantially similar contractual arrangements generated outside of its jurisdiction.