Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Civil unions in Hawai'i? insights into the Prop8 case (really)

A large part of the Prop8 case relies on whether or not California's domestic partnerships (the Californian version of civil unions) are equal to marriage. The Bad Guys say they are, so we don't need marriage as an option. The Good Guys say separate is never equal. So, you might interpret this as meaning that the Bad Guys are okay with civil unions/domestic partnerships, and it's just the M-word that they care about.

Not so fast. As I've blogged here previously, the Bad Guys are only in favor of civil unions when they are trying to keep us from getting married. When it's a choice between civil unions and nothing, they want us to have nothing. Let's be very clear about that. We've seen over and over again that they fight vigorously against civil unions too.

In Hawai'i, there is a bill coming up on civil unions that is likely to get a vote very soon.
The measure would grant gay couples the rights and benefits the state provides to married couples and is among a handful of similar proposals that could pop up in several other states.....

In Hawaii, the measure would expand the state's existing reciprocal beneficiaries law by granting to unmarried same- and opposite-gender couples all of the rights and benefits the state provides to married couples. It is similar to broad civil union or domestic partnership laws in California, the District of Columbia, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and New Jersey.
Honolulu Catholic Bishop Larry Silva in a letter last week urged some 220,000 parishioners to lobby lawmakers. He called civil unions "simply a euphemism" for gay marriage and claimed it is justifiable to discriminate against gay couples who want to marry.
The Bishop makes his antipathy and bias very clear. I hope that the forces of fairness and equality SPEAK OUT in Hawai'i and counter the bigotry and opposition with vigor.

And despite the Prop8 proponents arguing that the presence of an unequal DP law in CA makes marriage unnecessary, don't believe for an instant that they wouldn't eliminate that if they could. Their attacks against our very personhood, which are being exposed in the trial, make it very clear. It's not just about marriage. It never has been. It's about any recognition of our families and our right to live freely and openly.

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