Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie has called on the state legislature to pass a bill legalizing homosexual "marriage." Should the legislature concede, Hawaii would become the 14th state to pass a “marriage equality” bill. The special session would convene on October 28, and if such a bill passes, legalized same-sex unions would begin November 18. Hawaii already allows same-sex civil unions, but state homosexual activists insist it is not enough and want same-sex unions to have the same legitimacy as traditional marriage.
“My office has received many e-mails, letters, and telephone calls from constituents on both sides of the marriage equity issue,” Abercrombie said in a September 9 announcement, “and I have responded with assurance that my administration will meet our responsibilities for due diligence in consideration of all views and legal considerations.” In a press conference at the state capitol, however, the governor was more candid in stating his support for homosexual unions, declaring: “It's time for marriage equity to take place.” He insisted, however, that he would do his best to make it happen “without violating the religious principals of anybody in this state.”
The folks at Equality Hawaii, a state homosexual activist group, called the governor's announcement a “huge step forward,” but conceded that getting the legislature to sanction their lifestyle would be no shoo-in. “Several lawmakers still haven’t decided which way they’ll vote,” wrote retired state Supreme Court Justice Steven Levinson, a board member of the group, in a note to same-sex "marriage" supporters. “If we’re going to win their support, it’s going to take the most rigorous lobbying and grassroots organizing program we’ve ever run. We have to mobilize tens of thousands of supporters to take action in key districts across the state.”
Among the legislative opponents to legalized homosexual "marriage" are State Representative Gene Ward, who told HawaiiNewsNow.com that “people out there really are not totally for this. I think it's an exception that we have a special session for what now is for a very select, very narrow reason. There's not a state or a federal guarantee to same-sex marriage, so why are we rushing?”
On the traditional values side, pro-family and Christian groups have been building steam in their campaigns to stop same-sex "marriage," among them the Hawaii Family Forum and the Hawaii Christian Coalition. Concerned Women for America sent an e-mail to its constituents asking them to help derail the legislative effort.
In late August Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu sent a letter to Catholics in the state urging them to stand against the legalization of same-sex "marriage." “If same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land, its implications will go far beyond the relationship of this or that couple,” he warned. “There will be long term and definitive changes in our entire culture.”
He predicted that should the bill be passed, homosexuality would permeate the culture and even interfere with the faith of Christians. “Would people who firmly believe that God made us male and female, and that God has revealed that homosexual acts are sinful, be allowed to hold such beliefs?” he asked. “Or would they have to be 're-educated' to think as 'normal' people think? Would churches that refuse to celebrate same-sex marriage because of deeply held religious convictions be deprived of the freedom to live those convictions?”
Silva warned that children would be most impacted by the legalization of homosexual "marriage" “in that they will be deprived of being raised in a loving home by a mother and a father who love them and whose love cooperated with God’s plan in creating them. When children are deprived of such a home, there will be more poverty, more social ills, more juvenile suicides, and more problems than we can imagine.”
The Washington Post recalled that the “national push for gay marriage began in Hawaii in 1990 when three same-sex couples asked county clerks for marriage licenses and were refused. They sued the state for discrimination based on gender. In 1998, Hawaii voters blocked courts from enacting gay marriage by passing an amendment saying only lawmakers could legalize gay marriage.”