On the Issues
Marriage Equalityback to top
In the special legislative session late last year, I voted in favor of allowing same-sex marriage. I did so because as a senator I saw the issue as one of civil rights, not as one of religious beliefs or of legislating morals. The Hawaii law in fact contains a special exemption to protect churches that refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. Last June, in a case called U.S. v. Windsor, the United States Supreme Court held that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutionally infringed upon the States’ right to define marriage. The Supreme Court implied that partners in state-recognized civil unions would not be entitled to the same federal tax and other benefits as married couples. Since Hawaii at that time recognized both same-and opposite-sex civil unions, Hawaii residents in such civil unions would be subject to federal discrimination. As Governor I will remain opposed to any form of discrimination. In our multi-racial, multi-cultural society we must be especially vigilant to protect ourselves from all types of discrimination. As your governor, I will work diligently to protect the civil rights of all Hawaii’s citizens.