Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-10-29
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Chicago Dragons: Staying busy and winning Chicago Dragons: Staying busy and winning
It's a busy time—on and off the pitch—for the Chicago Dragons, the ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Hawaii gov. signs civil unions law
From news releases, posted Feb. 23, 2011
2011-02-23

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


( Honolulu, February 23, 2011 ) — Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai`i ( ACLU ) applaud Hawai`i Governor Neil Abercrombie's signing of SB232, which establishes civil unions for same-sex and different-sex couples in Hawai`i. The Hawai`i Senate approved the bill in an 18-5 vote on February 16. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2012.

Civil unions will provide a full range of state law protections and duties to unmarried couples - gay and heterosexual alike - such as access to family court to resolve disputes in an orderly way, clear duties to pay child support and alimony as appropriate, and other vital family protections. The new law will also honor same-sex couples' marriages, civil unions and broad domestic partnerships from other states and countries.

"It's wonderful to see so much hard work by so many in the Legislature and the community finally pay off," said Jennifer C. Pizer, National Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal. "Today marks a big step toward full equality for lesbian and gay people in the Aloha state. Hawai`i joins a growing list of states and countries on the right side of history - those that recognize the common humanity of all people, and know all families are strengthened when the law protects everyone. Governor Abercrombie, state lawmakers and many thousands of Hawai`i residents pulling together have moved this state significantly closer to civic equality by insisting that every family at least have access to complete rights and responsibilities, even if not to the equal status of marriage. We celebrate this key accomplishment and look forward to turning from litigation to helping with implementation of this new law."

Lambda Legal and the ACLU filed a lawsuit in July, 2010 after then-Governor Linda Lingle vetoed HB444, the previous civil unions bill. By providing the remedy sought by the lawsuit, SB232 eliminates the need to continue with that case.

"We're delighted with the Senate's vote — this bill will help thousands of families. And when Governor Abercrombie adds his signature, it will send a strong message that the State of Hawai`i is committed to protecting all Hawai`i's families," said Laurie Temple, Staff Attorney with the ACLU.

"We're extraordinarily grateful to the tens of thousands of community members and organizations who have testified in support of civil unions over the years, and have encouraged their representatives, senators, and the Governor to enact it into law. All those hours spent waving signs and making phone calls have brought us one big step closer to equality."

Hawai`i's constitution was amended in 1998 to allow the Legislature to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples, which it has done. This means same-sex couples cannot ask Hawai`i's courts to require full equality through marriage, but can call upon the Legislature to take this essential step in the future. In the meantime, civil unions will provide much needed protection for couples and their families. But because civil unions are a lesser status than civil marriage, they cannot satisfy the government's constitutional duty to treat everyone as equals under the law, and to abolish class distinctions that unjustly demean and invite private discrimination against vulnerable minority groups.

As of SB232's passage, five states ( CT, IA, MA, NH and VT ) and the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples to marry. Six states ( CA, IL, NV, NJ, OR and WA ) offer broad state-law protection through civil union or registered domestic partnership; Hawai`i will make it seven. Five more states ( Hawaii plus CO, MD, ME and WI ) offer more limited protections through a non-marriage status ( passage of SB232 will not change Hawai`i's reciprocal beneficiaries law ) . Others ( including at least MD and NY, and probably NM and, for some purposes, RI ) respect marriages that same-sex couples entered into in other states. Consequently, based on population estimates from the 2010 U.S. Census, as of February 2011, more than 40% of the United States population resides in a jurisdiction offering same-sex couples at least some form of state-level legal protection.

Visit the websites of Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Hawai`i for information about SB232 and Hawai`i law:

www.lambdalegal.org/publications/factsheets/fs_hawaiis-2011-civil-unions-bills-faqs.html

www.lambdalegal.org/publications/general/pm_the-legal-rights-of-civil-union-partners-in-hi.html

www.lambdalegal.org/protecting-same-sex-relationships

www.lambdalegal.org/publications/factsheets/fs_registering-as-reciprocal-beneficiaries.html

www.lambdalegal.org/hawaii

http://www.acluhawaii.org/news.php?id=408

HONOLULU - Equality Hawaii, the state's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT ) civil rights organization, and the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization, today congratulated Governor Neil Abercrombie, the Hawaii legislature and the people of Hawaii for enacting civil unions into law. The legislation provides that equal rights and responsibilities of married couples in Hawaii be afforded to thousands of non-married couples in the state — including same-sex couples. The law takes effect January 1, 2012.

"Today is a truly momentous day in Hawaii and a great step forward in our struggle towards full equality," said Alan Spector, co-chair of Equality Hawaii. "After nearly two decades of debate and sometimes hostile rhetoric, the people of Hawaii have spoken loud and clear, and their words ring true with hope and optimism. Equality Hawaii thanks Governor Abercrombie, the legislature, HRC and all those who have joined this fight for equal rights over the last two decades."

"I have always believed that civil unions respect our diversity, protect people's privacy, and reinforce our core values of equality and aloha," said Governor Neil Abercrombie. "For me, this bill represents equal rights for all the people of Hawaii. I appreciate all the time and effort invested by those who shared their thoughts and concerns regarding civil unions in Hawaii."

The struggle for equal relationship recognition for same-sex couples began in Hawaii in 1993 when the Hawaii Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Baehr v. Lewin, which found a constitutional right to marriage for same-sex couples. In 1998, a constitutional amendment giving the legislature the authority to define marriage was approved by public vote, and the legislature subsequently enacted a law that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. Since then, attitudes towards same-sex relationship recognition in Hawaii and around the country have changed. Today, a vast majority of Hawaii residents support civil unions and a majority support marriage equality.

"Neil Abercrombie has been a stalwart advocate and friend of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community for decades," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "Today he fulfills a major campaign promise to lay the issue of civil unions to rest, and finally provide equal rights and responsibilities to thousands of same-sex families in the Aloha State. The Human Rights Campaign thanks Equality Hawaii and other coalition partners, as well as our friends in the legislature for continuing to fight for what is right and just."

"Equality is not simply an issue to be debated and voted on, it is an idea that all people are created equal no matter who they are," said Rep. Blake Oshiro, House Majority Leader. "For too long, Hawaii's same-sex families have languished as second-class citizens, denied equal civil rights and treatment under the law. Today, we bring the concepts of ohana and aloha back to the people of this great state. I thank Gov. Abercrombie, my colleagues in the legislature, Equality Hawaii and the Human Rights Campaign for their dedication to this cause and look forward to working with all advocates for equality in the future."

The Human Rights Campaign and Equality Hawaii have worked closely together since 2008 to build both public and legislative support for civil unions. Through this joint effort, tens of thousands of phone calls, emails, postcards, petitions and handwritten letters have been sent to legislators urging them to approve this legislation. More on our work in Hawaii is at www.equalityhawaii.org, www.hrc.org/HawaiiWorkSummary and www.hrcbackstory.org/hawaii.

HRC and Equality Hawaii recognize the leadership of Majority Leader Blake Oshiro, Speaker Calvin Say, House Judiciary Chair Gilbert Keith-Agaran, Senate Judiciary Chair Clayton Hee, Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria and Senate President Shan Tsutsui, as well as all other legislators who stood up in the face of opposition. We also recognize the contributions of the ACLU of Hawaii, Da Moms, GLBT Caucus of the Hawaii Democratic Party, Interfaith Alliance of Hawaii, Lambda Legal, PFLAG-Oahu, Pride Alliance Hawaii, Pride at Work and UNITE HERE Local 5.

Hawaii joins thirteen other states plus Washington, D.C. with laws providing an expansive form of state-level relationship recognition for same-sex couples. Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington D.C. provide marriage to same-sex couples under state law. New York and Maryland recognize out-of-jurisdiction same-sex marriages, but do not provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples in state. Five other states—California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington —provide same-sex couples with access to almost all of the state level benefits and responsibilities of marriage, through either civil unions or domestic partnerships. A new law providing for civil unions in Illinois will take effect on June 1st.

Colorado, Maine and Wisconsin provide same-sex couples with limited rights and benefits, not all rights provided to married couples. An attorney general opinion and subsequent court ruling in Rhode Island resulted in limited recognition of out-of-jurisdiction marriages of same-sex couples. California recognized marriage for same-sex couples between June and November of 2008, before voters approved Proposition 8, which purports to amend the state constitution to prohibit marriage equality. Couples married during that window remain married under California law, but all other same-sex couples can only receive a domestic partnership within the state. The state will recognize out-of-jurisdiction same-sex marriages that occurred before November 5, 2008 as marriages and those that occurred on or after November 5, 2008 as similar to domestic partnerships.

Same-sex couples do not receive federal rights and benefits in any state. For an electronic map showing where marriage equality stands in the states, please visit: www.HRC.org/State_Laws.

Equality Hawaii is dedicated to securing equality for all Hawaii's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families. www.EqualityHawaii.org


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.

ELECTIONS 2014 Marriage equality: How they voted 2014-10-29
Melissa Etheridge: On marriage, performing 2014-10-29
Anti-gay group's Glenn Stanton talks bigotry, marriage 2014-10-29
Egalite Chicago forum on LGBT activism post marriage equality 2014-10-28
Fed govt to recognize same-sex married couples in six new states 2014-10-25
Oberweis: Would support federal marriage equality law 2014-10-23
Laramie Project; Boy George; Library exhibit on marriage 2014-10-22
District Court dismisses suit seeking marriage in Puerto Rico 2014-10-21
President Obama: Constitution guarantees right to marry 2014-10-21
Focus on the Family's Glenn Stanton talks bigotry, marriage 2014-10-18
Federal judge rules for marriage equality in Wyoming 2014-10-17
Federal judge strikes down Arizona marriage ban 2014-10-17
Library exhibit: Gay cartoonist's view of same-sex marriage 2014-10-16
Task Force changes name; marriage news; Notre Dame 2014-10-14
HRC scores 113th Congress; Alaska marries; WH looks at AIDS, violence 2014-10-13
New studies estimate LGBT population, married couples 2014-10-13
Supreme Court: Stunning progress 2014-10-12
Federal judge affirms the freedom to marry in Alaska 2014-10-12
Federal district court in North Carolina strikes down ban 2014-10-09
West Va. AG concedes marriage ban unconstitutional 2014-10-09
Marriage article in state bar journal 2014-10-08
Dustin Lance Black talks marriage rights, traveling and London 2014-10-08
Influential LGBTs in media; marriage news; anti-trans ad 2014-10-07
Bennett and Gaga's CD; Melissa on marriage; Laverne in Vegas 2014-10-07
9th Circuit backs marriage in Idaho, Nevada 2014-10-07
Supreme Court lets stand marriage in 5 states 2014-10-06
Supreme Court paves way for marriage in 5 states 2014-10-06
Missouri judge agrees with same-sex couples 2014-10-04
DoJ to soon ask Supreme Court to uphold marriage equality 2014-09-27
Tom Daley's gig; man convicted of drinking Baileys 2014-09-23
Carmichael, Bowman wed 2014-09-22
Supreme Court: Which case makes the best case for marriage equality? 2014-09-22
Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage bans 2014-09-19
DOMA cartoon wins prize; Chick-fil-A founder dies 2014-09-09
Streisand Channel, Neil Patrick weds, Sam Smith does 'Fast Car' 2014-09-09
ACLU asks high court to hear Indiana, Wisconsin marriage cases 2014-09-09
9 th Circuit hears argument in Lambda marriage case in Nevada 2014-09-09
Indiana AG seeks high court review of Lambda marriage case 2014-09-09
7th Circuit rules equal marriage bans unconstitutional 2014-09-04
Utah marriage plaintiffs ask Supreme Court for review 2014-08-28





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
the online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

PASSAGES Former Chicagoan Steven Moore dies
 
Strict ID laws could hinder trans voters
 
Neil Patrick news; 'Freeheld' has problem; 'Divas Simply Singing'
 
Music, radio are David Polk's passion, profession
 
Egalite Chicago forum on LGBT activism post marriage equality
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now








  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.