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Hawaii’s new Republican representative

Timothy Kincaid

May 24th, 2010

It has been nearly 20 years since Hawaii sent a Republican to Congress. But, due to multiple Democrats running for a mid-term replacement, Charles Djou, a Republican Honolulu City Council member, will be representing the residents of President Obama’s birthplace (His 40% was more than either of the two Democratic candidates).

Djou is a bit of a mixed bag for our community.

He has spoken against Hawaii’s newly passed Civil Unions bill and supports DOMA. However, that appears to be tempered by some pro-gay positions which earned him an endorsement by Log Cabin Republicans.

“Log Cabin Republicans is proud to have endorsed the candidacy of Charles Djou for Congress. His commitment to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, increased HIV/AIDS research initiatives and equality in domestic partnership benefits on the federal level show that a common-sense Republican can truly win the day, even in President Obama’s hometown.”

I am not certain exactly what Log Cabin means by “equality in domestic partnership benefits on the federal level”, but that may relate to a bill by Sen. Lieberman which seeks to extend “fringe benefits” to the partners of gay federal employees. That vote is expected soon, perhaps this week.

Djou will have to run again in November, this time in a partisan race against whichever Democratic candidate wins the primary. But he may well have to take a stand on a number of issues that impact our community in the meanwhile.

As Djou is an Army Reserve captain and I hope that this will lend credibility among Republican legislators when he asserts that DADT is both unnecessary and ineffective.

Comments

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Edwin
May 24th, 2010 | LINK

Another politian trying to get the gay vote then set on his hands if he wins. Then tell us he can’t help us or just tells us it will take time. Then have a cushy job for a few years and make all the big bucks and let people on social seurity suffer and try to make do with what they get while he retires with more in one year then we will get the rest of our lives.
They ought to try to live on a thousand dollars a month and see what we have to go through. None of them would ever make it.

Rob
May 25th, 2010 | LINK

First of all, it is rather arrogant to suggest that the Western way of constructing gender and seuxality is the only way or the most advanced way.

One important thing to clarify: by transgender, I essentially mean gender atypical characteristics that’s outside of culture and identity. This kind of nomenclature isn’t limited to the West. Societies that use the terms two-spirited, hirja, or kathoey, despite cultural differences, all talk about individuals that share gender atypical traits.

Because of the way we construct gender as being based on traits, gender ends up being looked upon as being much more static. In other cultures — and it appear to me that some African cultures apply here — gender is much more dynamic, and in some cases perhaps even situational.

There’s no doubt that there are societies with a more complete understanding of gender orientation than the modern West. And I doubt that Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga were in a situational relationship. Cultural and social constraints are irrelevant concerning a person’s real gender or sexual orientation.

Our L/G/B/T boxes generally don’t account for that, but it does not mean that it is any less valid of an experience.

Live I’ve stated, this has nothing to do with identities. They aren’t used in the natural sciences, yet we still see gender atypical behaviors, brains and genitalia in nature that we can explain them in terms of genetics and hormones. You may or may not balk at this kind of reductionism, but it’s how the scientific world progresses and it gives us a better understanding of natural phenomena.

But most importantly, and I cannt emphasize this enought, Tiwonge hasn’t declared whether he or she is gay or transgender. And this is precisely why I’ve avoided using BOTH terms to describe Tiwonge.

Yet we know that Tiwonge obviously displays gender atypical traits.

Timothy Kincaid
May 28th, 2010 | LINK

In one of Djou’s very first votes, he voted to repeal DADT.

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