Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Looking Good in Hawaii

        Two things happened yesterday in Hawaii that are news for rejoicing. First, the civil unions bill that was passed by the Hawaii legislature last year but vetoed by Republicans Governor Linda Lingle, passed the  Judiciary Committee of the State Senate - now all it has to do is go before the full Senate for a vote. On Top Mag has the story...

 A bill that would offer gay and lesbian couples identical benefits and responsibilities to marriage was approved by a Hawaii Senate panel on Tuesday, ABC-affiliate KITV reported.
The Judiciary Committee approved the measure with a 3-2 vote.
The civil unions measure is nearly identical to a bill approved last year by the Legislature and vetoed by then-Governor Linda Lingle, a Republican. In announcing her decision, Lingle said that she believed civil unions are “essentially same-sex marriage by another name.”
Voters on November 2 rejected Lingle's lieutenant governor, James “Duke” Aiona, to succeed her in the Governor's Mansion in favor of Democrat Neil Abercrombie. Aiona had pledged to back an amendment that would ban government recognition of all gay unions, closing the option for civil unions or domestic partnerships left open by a 1998 constitutional amendment granting lawmakers the power to define marriage as a heterosexual union. The measure overruled a 1993 Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that favored gay marriage advocates. Abercrombie said he supported recognizing gay couples with civil unions.
      The only obstacle that is in the way of this legislation would be the approval of the State Senate, for the House as well as the Governor both support this measure. Therefore if you live in Hawaii make sure to call your Senators and tell them to vote YES on the civil unions bill. Capitol Switchboard is - 808-586-1449
        This was not the only news from Hawaii, for the current governor, Neil Abercrombie - also nominated an openly lesbian judge to the State Supreme Court. The Advocate reports...
Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie nominated Sabrina Shizue McKenna to the Hawaii Supreme Court, where she would be the first openly gay judge, on the same day a senate committee advanced the civil unions measure.
According to the Star-Advertiser, McKenna, 53, is a longtime state judge and former University of Hawaii women’s basketball player. She was born in Tokyo and raised by a single mother.
Governor Abercrombie, a Democrat, called the appointment “the most important decision” in his career, reported theStar-Advertiser.
McKenna said that being the first openly gay member of the court could give "hope to people who feel that they cannot succeed” for reasons including sexual orientation.
Her appointment is subject to confirmation in the Hawaii senate judiciary committee.

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