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There has been a lot of attention on Hawaii leaders who have spoken out against House Bill 444 and civil unions.  I’d like to draw attention to a great proponent of gay rights, Congressman Neil Abercrombie. Although he was in Washington D.C. at the time of the hearing, Congressman Abercrombie submitted testimony in support of HB444.

In his testimony Representative Abercrombie writes, “This bill offers homosexuals equality under the law and ensures basic human rights.”

“The gay and lesbian citizens of Hawaii are good citizens; they pay taxes and follow laws.  It is shameful that while they must give their equal share to the government, the government will not give them equal protection.”

Mr. Abercrombie’s statements highlight one of the strongest arguments for the passage of House Bill 444, we are all citizens of this great country and we all deserve equal protection under the law.

Suze Orman made a great point about the protection marriage affords couples financially.  That protection should not be an exclusive right of heterosexual couples.  Watch Suze Orman’s Valentine’s Day Wish on YouTube.

Thank you, Congressman Neil Abercrombie.

Thank you, Suze Orman.

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I want address a phrase that has been used numerous times by opponents of both HB444 and gay rights.  (I make no distinction between those who oppose civil unions or same-sex marriage and those who broadly oppose gay rights.)

“We have evidence after evidence about the medical dangers of a homosexual lifestyle.” –Gary Okino

I can only assume, by that bigoted statement, that Mr. Okino was referring to a promiscuous lifestyle of unprotected sex and drug use.  While I’m sure there are homosexuals who live this way there are also heterosexuals who also live a life of promiscuity and risky behavior.

Has anyone from the same school of thought ever took a step back from their hot headed, quick-to-fire arguments and really examined the issues of a “homosexual lifestyle?”  Perhaps if homosexuals were given the ability to sanction their relationships, perhaps through civil unions, they would then have an instrument to form a family with someone they love?  After all, isn’t family the foundation of our society?

Despite being barred by law to marry, there are homosexual couples who don’t live lives of promiscuity and illicit drug use, and are monogamous.  There are homosexuals who want to commit to live a life with one and only one other person.  If that other person happens to be of the same gender, how does that harm our community?

The “homosexual lifestyle” of which Gary Okino and Mike Gabbard would have you think, is not isolated to the homosexual community alone.  As in the heterosexual community, homosexuals lead lives in many different ways.  Stereotyping the entire gay community to further discriminatory ideals is very dangerous, especially coming from leaders in our community who know better or who should know better.

If you missed Honolulu City Councilman Gary Okino’s testimony against House Bill 444, here is some of what he had to say.

“You know, I think if you know the facts of this, that you will see that this is a very dangerous piece of legislation to pass. Um, let’s start with God first, okay? I’m a Christian, as most of us are. I’m not going to go through all the scriptures or whatever, but just to tell you that when God says [that] something is not good, you better abide by what he says. Otherwise there will be some serious consequences. It’s not because we hate homosexual, I think it’s because we have compassion for the homosexuals and what they would do to themselves by this. Let’s start with that first, okay? Let’s talk about the health impacts of homosexuality. We have evidence after evidence about the medical dangers of a homosexual lifestyle. You can go to the department of health website where you can see the incidence of diseases, of AIDS, of STDs, that are almost exclusively within the homosexual population. Worldwide, nationwide, they are a number of diseases that occur almost exclusively in the homosexual population and are almost non-existent in the heterosexual population. So when God says that marriage is between a man and a woman, it’s because parts fit, okay?”

I would just like to thank Councilman Okino for his compassion toward homosexuals.  Thank God he’s not going to let the homosexuals do that to themselves.

Good thing he taught everybody about them disease that only the homosexuals have.  (If there is anyone reading who bought that made-up baloney, ask your mommy and she’ll clarify.)

Nice jab at the end there too!  What a respectful, upstanding, Hawaii politician Gary Okino is.

Now what I really think.  I think that Councilman Okino’s statements were misleading and incredibly damaging to the homosexual community.  His bigotry and backward thinking is where the real danger lies.  Everyone has a right to believe what they want, but when you try to impose your personal beliefs on the rest of the members of society, I think you are doing the community a diservice.

Welcome!

I started this blog after watching emotional testimony at a hearing on HB444, the bill that would give same-sex couples the same benefits afforded to married couples through the legalization of Civil Unions.

I watched as people of different upbringings, different ages, and different backgrounds testified before the Senate Judiciary and Government Operations Committee.  People on both sides of the issue came out swinging, with sharp language and emotional pleas.  A recurring theme throughout testimony in opposition was religious beliefs.  A point I will address in length in a later post.

I am not going to say that I am netural on the issue.  As the title of my blog should imply, I fully support gay rights and equal treatment for same-sex couples.  I applaud all those who bravely testified in support of HB444.  I was especially moved by the young people who made their way to the podium to testify.  It takes courage to stand up and speak, espcially after you hear parents and community leaders so carelessly trample the very rights of which you are speaking in support.

We hope to bring some much needed attention to those who support the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender members of our community.  We invite everyone to respectfully join our discussion.  If you want to share something with the readers, please contact us via email: equalityhawaii@gmail.com

Mahalo,

Equality Hawaii

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