Okay, here’s a new strategy to use talking with people about marriage equality. Schedule a showing of “The Golden Girls” with some of your curmudgeonly “friends.” Laugh it up and then when the show is over roll out the Parade magazine quote from Betty White:
“I don’t care who anybody sleeps with. If a couple has been together all that time—and there are gay relationships that are more solid than some heterosexual ones—I think it’s fine if they want to get married. I don’t know how people can get so anti-something. Mind your own business, take care of your affairs, and don’t worry about other people so much.”
Go, Betty! Why do those right-wing religious nuts care about our lives so much? Let’s offer them the opportunity to go feed starving Americans. Help the homeless. Lay off their lazy-ass activism of picking on LGBT Americans.
I resisted rushing to look at Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” video. I am now very enthusistically getting everyone I know to look at it and take it to heart! Pass it on . . .
This is a reprise of an earlier laugh about Prop 8 from the summer. We’re getting close to the trial date in December . . .
The Pew Research Center reports that more Americans are supporting the supposed all-American principle of equality for all. I find this really refreshing–especially these days when LGBT kids especially are not believing that there is any future for them and are committing suicide.
I hope that older members of the LGBT community will go out there and talk to kids and let them know that there is a future after the travail of growing up gay. I applaud Dan Savage’s It Gets Better initiative. More of us have got to speak the truth to LGBT youth. I want LGBT youth to expect total equality. Not just marriage equality.
The LGBT civil rights movement in Hawaii has constantly been blocked by Christian evangelicals and the Catholic Church. This unholy alliance that prevents LGBT people from full citizenship is being unmasked by courageous faith leaders who take the risk of speaking truth to power in this small island community.
In a culture where “the nail that stands out, gets pounded down” we still have brave leaders like retired Lutheran minister the Rev. Jory Watland. His letter appeared in the Honolulu Star Bulletin on March 30, 2010. Thank you Rev. Watland!
Keep religion out of politics
It was very upsetting to see the article by Richard Borreca headlined “Broadcaster Robertson speaks highly of Duke Aiona on ‘700 Club'” (Star-Bulletin, March 21). I was very disappointed to see Mr. Borreca give credence to any of the content of a talk show, to treat the content of the show as newsworthy, and to interview and elicit from local community members comments that in some cases were as offensive as the quotes from Robertson.
Our Hawaiian community has not used personal religious beliefs as a political campaign tool out of respect for, and celebration of, our diverse cultures and beliefs, and the respect for the privacy of each individual. For Mr. Borreca to report on what has become antithetical to our local culture as a newsworthy story is sad.
It is even more disturbing to have Dennis Arakaki, a former public official (and long-time friend), suggest that if a person is a Christian he/she will be prone to vote for a particular candidate for governor.
As a Christian minister, serving in Hawaii for over40 years, I find this perspective abhorrent and contrary to everything I value in a state and nation that constitutionally mandate the separation of church and state. Hawaii has fought to ensure the integrity of all by preserving the constitutional mandate against the “establishment” of a state religion.
Listening to Ted Olson and David Boies on Bill Moyers’ Journal gave me great hope that our cause for marriage equality was in good hands. Like many in the LGBT community, I had to evolve to this position. Olson’s role in the Bush administration gave me great pause in jumping to trust him. The presence of Boies made me believe that I ought to be open-minded.
If they are successful in challenging Proposition 8 with the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, Olson and Boies may win marriage equality for LGBT people in 45 states. This would be a major sweep for civil rights. It would also make those of us in the five states and one jurisdiction that have marriage equality feel more secure. There are, however, possibilities that the outcome of the case may have downsides for the LGBT community.
Matt Coles, head of the ACLU’s LGBT Project, has given us some scenarios on Huffington Post of what the decision of the Federal District Court may be. Well worth reading.
More tomorrow. Stay tuned.
Debi Hartmann was not always a friend of the Hawaii LGBT community. In 1998, she helped craft the Reciprocal Beneficiaries bill that supposedly gave LGBT people all the protections that we needed. She worked with the Catholic Church and fundamentalist Protestants in this effort. But she was always open to dialogue. Today she finds that her former allies in the Catholic and other fundamentalist churches do not want to hear what she has to say.
Here’s how today’s Star Bulletin story about her begins:
Debi Hartmann’s transformation from a fierce opponent of same-sex marriage to ardent proponent of civil unions did not happen overnight. More
On January 22nd, when opponents of civil unions wore white to the Hawai’i State Capitol to symbolize their opposition to our civil rights, a brave senator also wore white.
Suzanne King of Equality Hawai’i (l) and Senator Michele Kidani (D)
Senator Kidani took the brave step of introducing an important amendment to HB444 that ultimately failed 10-15. But she was back leading the charge when the unamended bill was brought up in Third Reading.
Many senators had poignant arguments to make for HB444 but the one that resonated most with me was Kidani’s:
“To deny our gay brothers and sisters their rights is unjust. I vote for love. Give love a chance.”
Senator Kidani gets it. What we are looking for is relationship recognition, but at the core of that recognition is the love that we have for our chosen partner. Fundamentalist Christians and particularly Catholics want to talk about sex (in their code words “complementarity”) but we need to speak out more loudly about love.
In her great looking white suit, Kidani spoke for love. No one else in white on either the Senate floor or the Senate gallery spoke of love. But the Senate did vote for love 18-7–a super majority.
Love is where it’s at.
Yesterday at the Hawai’i State Capitol we celebrated a Senate vote of 18-7 in favor of civil unions. There is some irony in the celebration because in 1993 Justice Steven Levinson, writing for the majority, ruled in Baehr v. Lewin that same-sex couples should not be denied marriage equality.
But yesterday, 16 years later, I found myself with Justice Levinson and hundreds of others celebrating the first step of achieving relationship equality in Hawai’i: passing a civil unions bill out of the Hawai’i state senate.
Supporters of the civil unions bill — including Pat Gozemba, left, and retired state Supreme Court Justice Steven Levinson — celebrated yesterday. In 1993, Levinson co-authored the decision saying that Hawaii needed a “compelling state interest” for denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Photo by Dennis Oda of The Star Bulletin.
How did Hawai’i get itself in this time warp? A constitutional ballot amendment in 1998 gave the legislature the authority to determine what marriage is. The legislature chose the discriminatory route: one man and one woman.
But the legislature did not take the ultimately discriminatory route and institutionalize marriage inequality in the state constitution through a constitutional convention.
The Hawai’i House of Representatives will now take up the civil unions bill. Marriage equality, a glimmer of hope in 1993, seems so remote.