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HAWAII DEMOCRATIC HOUSE LEADERSHIP GIVES MESSAGE TO GAY COUPLES: “F*** OFF”

Timothy Kincaid

January 29th, 2010

hawaiichurchNOThe Democratic Party in Hawaii has told gay couples that they are insignificant, inferior, and beneath their contempt. There really is no other way to understand their decision not to vote on the civil unions bill.

The background:

In February 2009 the Hawaii House of Representatives voted for a civil unions bill. The margin was one vote shy of a veto-proof majority but one representative who supports civil unions was absent.

The Senate then shoved the bill into committee where it sat until the day before the session ended. Then they attached a meaningless and substanceless amendment to the bill so as to kill it for another year.

Then last week the Senate brought the bill back up. House leadership decided that the bill just wouldn’t be worth their attention unless the Senate passed it with a veto-proof majority. Because, you know, it’s possible that the Governor may veto the bill – even though she’s given no indication either way.

And then, to everyone’s surprise, the Senate did just that. They voted 18 to 7. But having their bluff called, the House leadership totally screwed the gay community.

The Democratic Caucus (which is nearly the whole house) went behind closed doors to decide if this vote might be a threat to some specific members who really didn’t want to go on record in an election year. They decided to protect their butts and to hell with you. (WaPo)

The state House of Representatives decided to indefinitely postpone a decision on whether to grant gay and lesbian couples the same rights and benefits the state provides to married couples.

Oh, and were they real men and women about it? Nope.

No roll call was taken on the decision to postpone the vote, which shielded representatives from having their position on the record. Instead, lawmakers shouted “aye” or “no,” and Vice Speaker of the House Michael Magaoay then ruled that the motion to delay a vote had passed.

And no House member called for a roll call.

So, based on today’s action, we can take it as a given that the Democratic House membership cares nothing at all about the inequalities and indignities suffered by their gay constituents. None of them. Not one house member cares enough about you to even get their fellow members to go on record.

And has the state Party, Democratic National Committee, the President, ANYONE, called them on it? Nope.

So here’s a little message from the Hawaii Democratic Party to you gay Hawaiians: “F*** off”

Comments

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Mark F.
January 29th, 2010 | LINK

Shameful, just shameful. I’m not a Democrat, but anyone who gives one cent to the DNC, Obama or any candidate who does not stand for equality under the law is just a useful idiot.

Eddie89
January 29th, 2010 | LINK

So here’s a little message from the Hawaii Democratic Party to you gay Hawaiians: “F*** off”

This should actually read the ENTIRE Democratic party and not just in Hawaii!

Democrats/Republicans! Both are wings of the SAME BIRD!

The Republican party left me several years ago, especially when “W” was pushing for the Federal Marriage Amendment.

And I’ve never trusted Democrats. I took a chance on Obama and voted for “Change” that I could believe in.

Well, that “change” was a big lie!

From here on out, my vote will only go to a non-democrat or non-republican candidate.

I may be wasting my vote, but I have to start somewhere.

Grant
January 29th, 2010 | LINK

Eddie – you echo almost exactly my story and feelings. Was a Republican years ago, un-registered in 2003, never joined the D party (remain “decline to state”), voted for Obama. Will not give a nickel to either party.

I can’t predict who I will vote for with complete certainty in the future, but my vote will only go to those who hold at least a majority of values I believe in – regardless of party.

AdrianT
January 29th, 2010 | LINK

Take inspiratoin from Heath Tucker (the young New Yorker – see youtube) – you need to get on the streets and demonstrate. Hold a vigil for this attack on civil rights, dignity and democracy.

johnathan
January 29th, 2010 | LINK

I too may soon be departing the Democratic Party. In Arizona, the Democratic Party means very little anyhow. IF I was to belong to any party at all, the Greens sound pretty good, but for their support of GLBT-related issues. Then again, does party membership actually reap rewards?

John
January 29th, 2010 | LINK

I think that gay folks in Hawaii and their supporters should write to these representatives. They should tell them that gay residents of Hawaii will vote against each and every Democrat on the ballot. They were so worried about losing votes. Well, guess what. I think they lost quite a few votes with this action.

Burr
January 29th, 2010 | LINK

John is right.

Their political calculus here is utterly retarded. Let them all reap what they sow in the election.

Amicus
January 29th, 2010 | LINK

We went through similar shit in New Jersey.

It’s hard to read the tea leaves, but it could be that Dems in NJ decided that “protecting” their legislative majority against a new and horrible Bush-appointed Republican Governor was required.

The fallacy is that people lose local or state elections based on SSM. There is scant evidence that is true. In fact, the evidence is that it’s an issue for the GOP, not in general elections, where it ranks very low on the list of things people self-report are key election issues for them.

Evan Wolfson, I believe, has been a real thought leader in bringing out these notions. I should go check what they’ve been up to. I think there was a guide for legislators on why they ought not be afraid. There ought to be a way to get those ideas some more currency. Perhaps, if they came validated from some broader sources, perhaps, as well?

cd
January 29th, 2010 | LINK

This is just plain stupid of the HI state House leadership. They could pass the bill by one vote, letting most of the Chicken Littles and serious opponents and whatnot vote against it or vote ‘present’. Or legislators with sticky problems accidentally happen to be in the restroom when the vote is taken, or stuck in traffic, or have a terrible family emergency on a far island. Or they can just pass it in lame duck session- that’s the New Jersey way.

I guess the simpler explanation is that someone pretty high up in the state House leadership just doesn’t want to pass the bill. It’s time to find out who it is and give him/her a visit.

Richard W. Fitch
January 29th, 2010 | LINK

It’s little consolation for those of us who are ‘past our prime'; however, in a generation or so this whole uproar will seem as passé as women’s suffrage and racial integration. There will always be the sanctimonious bigots, but more rational though will prevail.

Richard W. Fitch
January 29th, 2010 | LINK

but more rational thought will prevail.

Eric in Oakland
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

If I lived in Hawaii I think I would try and organize a demonstration at the capitol.

VapoRob
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Had it passed, what a great thing to stick in front of the RNC which is vacationing there right now. But considering Democrats have no spine right now as evident with the Democrats here on the mainland cowtowing around the Republicans, it doesn’t surprise me that it didn’t pass. Mind you, Hawaii was the first state whose court said that equality must be given to same-sex couples and the voters took it away.

Lynn David
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Bring up gay issues in a legislature and you find out who the real pansies are.

Ben in Oakland
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Dare I say it? It’s our national malaise– or one of them. No leadership, no intelligence, no honesty, no nothing. Very sad.

Mario
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Hawaii depends greatly on tourism for it’s economy. Well fine, I’m taking my gay dollars elsewhere. I normally go to Hawaii once per year. Not this year!!

Dan
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Here’s my two cents. If you live in Hawaii, don’t support ANY Hawaii democrat. Make sure they know it. If you’re outside Hawaii, don’t vacation there or spend money on Hawaii products. Make sure they know why. Encourage straight allies to do the same. But also, make sure the dems know you’ll be back when they give LGBT Hawaiians their rights.

Dan
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Remember, we may not have many votes, but the dems need our money.

lmichaelj
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

While their lack of action is absolutley dispicable, I think the clear and obvious answer is to have HRC and other such LGBT political organizations call for a boycot of Hawaii. Why spend Gay $$$ where we are not wanted?

CLS
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Simple; in the Democratic Party the people serve the party, the party does not serve the people. All power to the Party, the Party comes first. Gays, or anyone else, only get crumbs now and then as it serves the interests of the Party. Understand that and everything falls into place. And this is especially true when the Democrats figure they have a lock on the gay vote anyhow. Since gays will keep voting Democratic the DP figures it safe to send such messages to gay voters.

Regan DuCasse
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

I think that what gays and lesbians represent as a minority and with what influence in any way is seriously distorted.
On the one hand, you have many in the media, public opinion and so on seeing gay people as a “minute, insignificant and seriously tiny group.”

But one that is visible, highly aggressive and regardless of size, isn’t remarkable except as a noisy annoyance.

Even as the Perry vs. Schwartzeneggar case argued political power regarding gay people.
At the same time, no one thinks that political financing or voting patterns show that gay people can do ANYTHING in that regard where real change or influence goes.
This isn’t a monolithic minority, and even though say, there are conservative gays, there are gays who don’t support marriage equality, the opposition just LOVES to put them front and center as representative of gays enough so that the political leadership is off the hook.

They more and more look like people who HATE to discuss this, consider it a cursory and compulsory duty, but feel no real political threat from gay people.
And seriously, my friends…why should they?

Being supportive of gay equality is spoken of as if an act of treason, hence the words ‘militant’ and ‘activist’ attached to said people like the other dirty words from back in the day like ‘Communist’.

Even if a person ISN’T an activist, a gay person just by being gay will be given that moniker.
But lo, and behold.
Democratic fund raisers and political candidates who slide into town and put in an appearance at gay related functions will say all the right things, make all the right connections and make all the money they want to.
THEY haven’t complained that gay dollars has been something they are short of, right?
But when those of REAL influence, because of power of their office, DO tend to pretend there isn’t more they can do, or more they care to.
They might appoint someone who is gay to a minor office, they might lend a signature to a bill that has no strong affect on way or the other.
They might invite some connected gay folks to a few parties.

But after it’s all said and done and the checks have been cashed, the campaign pledges are forgotten.
And embedded in ‘well there are MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO ATTEND TO’ which is code for, you’re not important and never will be as long as this country is at crisis levels. Wouldn’t want to BE YA.

And our country will be PERPETUALLY at crisis levels, but no matter if gay lives are too.

And, with this result in HI, the powers that be will simply see gay Hawaiians and their supporters as noisy, but without the necessary political clout to really make a difference they need to care about.

They don’t care because THEY. DON’T. HAVE.TO.
And even if someone in office, anywhere in America, says something truly vile and defamatory and INFLAMMATORY about gay people, they can point to those anecdotal incidents of vandalism and anger and call it ‘tantrums and not getting their way’
instead of an entire minority of people being TREATED BADLY and unCONSTITUTIONALLY.

And then what can really be done about it?
Those highly visible and loud rallies got played in the media and in public opinion as something completely unrecognizable from the reality and end results.

Perhaps these same leaders will use those reactions to Prop. 8 as a rallying cry of their own to not scare the horses. Ignore them and they’ll go away kind of tactic.
And really, my friends what COULD we do about it?
Get loud, say ‘we’re not going to vote for you next term and then you’ll REALLY be sorry’?
It’s worked wonders so far, hasn’t it?

People WANT gay folks to disappear, keep paying your taxes, keep making contributions, but just don’t make anyone SEE or HEAR you.
And don’t you DARE complain! You have EVERYTHING and apparently don’t really NEED all those pesky rights, after all, you’re politically POWERFUL enough to even SAY you’re withdrawing support, votes…(yawn)…
It makes for discomfort all around and a useful weapon if you REALLY get mad.

I realized something when I saw for the second time, the ‘immigration’ reform/amnesty demonstrations that are on May 1st. Los Angeles is ground zero for these demonstrations and I’m not going to be PC about ILLEGAL immigration here.

But I thought about how much accommodation there is, and how illegal immigrants are cast as a model minority that ‘just wants a better life for their families’.

Considering all the exponential crimes that can and DO occur because of illegal status, how the hell would or could our government or any citizen ASSUME that?
There is a considerable web of danger around this conceit. Especially in a time of war with a stealth enemy. In war, you have to know where and who your enemy is and their intent, with illegal immigration you know none of these.
Several Presidential administrations have committed TREASON in this accommodation alone. I looked it up as a matter of fact.

Bear with me.
Given this model class label, and accommodation based on this assumption, unaccounted for illegal immigrants might roughly make up a similar amount of residents in this country as gay citizens.

But…it’s GAY citizens who ARE a voting class, and illegal immigrants who are not.
GAY citizens DON’T introduce the financial burden on the state because they (and their children) are less representative of being DEPENDENT on it.

So if illegal immigrants, regardless of not knowing who they are, or their record here, why the model assumption?

Gay citizens who want to marry, and serve in the military and Scouting and so on, represent people ‘who want to have a better life and care for their families.’
But even though that intent and purpose is obvious, it’s denied by most of our political representatives. Indeed, expressed as threatening.
Well, why?

Yet, gay citizens are more politically ignored than illegal immigrants who by THEIR status, have more protections and Constitutional access as well.
These are a class of people who don’t have to prove their loyalty or intentions to and for this country, although LEGAL immigration requires it.

But gay citizens ALWAYS have to prove themselves and even then, STILL aren’t given the benefit of ANY doubt whatsoever.

I’m not making this about one class’s rights over another.

I AM making this about the political calculus that requires nothing from people who statistically have NOT been healthy for our nation, especially in concentrations in the bigger cities.
And the political calculus that makes gay citizens fair game for abuse and taxation WITHOUT representation.

Something to ponder, folks.
The HI legislation just DID show that not only they DON’T care, but more’s the point…feel no obligation, and don’t have to.

John
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

I left a message with the Hawaii Democratic Party (they don’t have any humans answering the phone on the weekend).

I politely told them that as a resident of the Bay Area and frequent visitor to Hawaii, I have decided not to travel to Hawaii this year due to the actions of the Democrats in the state house. I have also told them that I will encourage national gay organizations to discourage travel to Hawaii. I ended by telling them that perhaps a few Massechussetts style results might wake them up.

Could you just imagine Akaka or Inoue taken out due to Democrats just not going to the polls.

Ben in Oakland
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

I’m not going to say anything new here.

I’ve been a lifelong democrat. I have voted for republicans in two instances only– john anderson, in 1980, and Milton Marks in San Francisco before I moved to Oakland.

This was not the case because I am a follower, or because I am so enamored of Demo policy, or programs, or abilities. It was becaase I have looked at Repub policy programs, and personalities, and have seen very little I could support. This position started to solifidy when Reagan was running, with his open courting of the Chrstian right, a courting which has led to the decline of public and political discourse in this country.

I voted Democratic by default, and continued to vote that way despite my growing horror over broken promises, DADT, DOMA, and only slightly more principle than a republican at his best
I stopped giving them money after DADT, though I did give money both to Howard dean and to Obama.

My currrent conclusion: they are certainly better than the Repubs, and have frequently been our friends, especially compared to just about any Repub. At the same time, they have no backbone, don’t seem to stand for too much, and will roll over for the first dog that barks loud enough.

I wish i could say “don’t vote” but that is what they want, and is one of hte biggest problems our former democracy faces.

I would vote for Barbara Lee one of the few representatives that has both brains and principle. We got ron Dellums foisted on us, and he has been a disaster for Oakland, despite his liberal credentials and his good points.

So what am I trying to say: spend your vote wisely. I will seriously be looking at third party candidates ofr the first time.

TonyJazz
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

The gay scene has been in decline over the last decade, and I know I’ve avoided going there due to their marriage stance (after 10 visits in the 90s).

I feel sorry for the gay population of Hawaii, as the state is treating them so poorly.

Stay away from Hawaii, until they get smarter!

paul j stein
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Well I guess that’s another destination off the list. With a economy that is sh!t anyway and much more discretionary money available for travel, a boycott by GAY AMERICANS could really hurt the Islands. Hopefully the gay operators of businesses would not be impacted too severely. My finance’ is not going to be happy with this news…

Mark F.
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

I don’t believe in boycotts as they punish the innocent as well as the guilty. And if Hawaii is to be boycotted, shouldn’t all states that don’t have gay marriage be boycotted as well?

Jadvar
January 31st, 2010 | LINK

Mark,

Short answer is Yes, HI being so dependent on tourist dollars is far more likely to see the light than Utah, but still. As a Californian, I wouldn’t recommend anyone support California either. You have choices, good choices, on where to spend your tourism dollars, don’t waste them on places that do not value you.

It’s that simple.

Around The Gay Blogosphere, Denver And Otherwise
February 1st, 2010 | LINK

[…] provides a brief summary of just how trying to pass civil unions in Hawaii failed over the […]

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