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Belated good news from Hawaii

Timothy Kincaid

October 12th, 2010

This is a few weeks old, but it’s important. (AP)

Hawaii Democrats have chosen former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie in their bid to take back the governor’s office after eight years of Republican control.

Abercrombie defeated longtime political rival ex-Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann in a bitterly contested campaign that focused on character and leadership experience.

Abercrombie will face Republican nominee Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona in the November campaign to succeed GOP Gov. Linda Lingle in President Barack Obama’s birth state.

Polls have shown Abercrombie as a likely winner in the very Democratic state. His biggest threat was Hannemann, a Mormon, who campaigned on an anti-gay platform.

Hannemann’s supporters released an ad during the primary which criticized Abercrombie for supporting the civil unions bill which was vetoed by Republican Governor Linda Lingle, “In the battle of HB444, we learned the importance of electing people with our traditional Christian values.”

I think that it is likely that should Abercrombie be elected in November will open the way for the Hawaii state legislature to revisit their support of gay couples. And I think that this time they may opt for full marriage equality.

Comments

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mauiwahine
October 12th, 2010 | LINK

we’re thrilled that neil won, but harbor no hope for full marriage equality here in hawaii. ain’t. neva. gonna. happen.

civil unions will pass early in the next legislative session, but full marriage – nope, not here. not until it’s a federal mandate.

Stefano A
October 12th, 2010 | LINK

I’m unsure as to how “good” this news” is. While Abercrombie is certainly better than the alternative (Republican Aiona), he’s hardly an advocate for marriage equality.

While Abercrombie has said if he becomes governor, he would sign a civil unions bill into law if passed again by the state legislature, he believes the state should not take up the issue of same-sex marriage and the only reason he supports the civil unions bill is because it included heterosexuals. In a debate early this month the Star-Advertiser quoted him saying:

“It’s a civil rights bill that affected everybody equally regardless of their gender, regardless of their sexual orientation. It was a bill about civil rights and responsibilities under the Constitution, and did not constitute, in my judgment, anything approaching a revision or recalculation or redefinition of marriage.

And don’t forget that Abercrombie supported the 1998 constitutional amendment.

So, his support of civil unions is welcome, but he’s only hesitatingly supportive.

occono
October 12th, 2010 | LINK

Hmm, so would the Civil Unions he support not be New Jersey/Calfiornia-style “Fully equal in legal theory” CUs? Because I don’t see why it’d be important that they would be offered to Straight couples otherwise.

Hawaii and S. Covey
October 12th, 2010 | LINK

This is a reminder to never, ever buy anything associated with Stephen Covey, of the FranklinCovey and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” brands. Covey (a devout Mormon, and extremely wealthy) has a home in Hawaii and in the early 1990s spoke out there against gay marriage saying it violated natural law or some BS.

Stefan
October 12th, 2010 | LINK

John Baldacci and John Lynch both said they opposed gay marriage and ended up signing same sex marriage bills. Abercrombie can likely be convinced.

Matt
October 13th, 2010 | LINK

I always like how Mormons refer to themselves as “traditional Christians.” There’s a whole a lot of their beliefs and traditions that do not mesh with Christian belief–especially all of the extra “magic” books. That’s why they keep trying to align themselves with the Christan Wrong but why the Bible Belt will never trust someone like Mittens.

They have exactly one point of agreement–they hate homos.

Theo
October 13th, 2010 | LINK

I can’t find any polling data from HI on full marriage. The NY Times, using a somewhat dubious statistical estimation method in August 2010, pegged HI support at 54 percent, up from 28 percent in 1994-6. (Support for the anti-gay marriage amendment in 1998 was about 70 percent, pro-gay opposition at about 30 percent.)

Looking at the Times’ other state estimates, it seems that their method produces results that inflate support by about 5-7 percent. So I would guess-timate support in HI at about 47-49 percent. That is w/o ads by Frank Schubert running on TV.

So I think the best outcome is to let them pass CU. That would be full CU, as in CA and NJ. If HI is like every other state, full CU will accelerate support and dampen opposition for full marriage, so they could safely make a switch in a few years, converting all CUs to marriages.

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