HRC Blog

On the Ground for Civil Unions in Hawaii

Despite the massive storm that trampled much of the US in the past few days, I was able to stick to my travel itinerary and deploy to the Aloha State one final time (hopefully) to help secure civil unions.  I’ll be assisting advocates on the ground in lining up legislative support, and generating constituent contacts and earned media.  Somehow this year feels a little different – could it be that we now have Governor Abercrombie? Next up is the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on SB 232, which passed out of the Senate on a 19-6 vote.  The hearing will be next Tuesday, February 8th at 2:15pm in the auditorium at the Capitol.  We need you to make your voice heard by preparing testimony and submitting it by 2:15pm on Monday, February 7th. For details on submitting written testimony, click here.  Once submitted, you may also present your testimony orally at the hearing.   Helpful Tips

  • Tell your story in your own words.
  • Be brief. A clear, one- or two-page testimony will be more effective than a lengthy, multi-page report.
  • Be courteous & respectful. Please refrain from any accusatory language and labeling of the opposition.
  • Identify yourself.  The first paragraph should include your name, that you support SB232 and a "mahalo" to the committee for its consideration.
  • Close neatly. Conclude by thanking them again, restating your position and - on written testimony - conclude with your name and address.
  • Remember that stories from the heart are the ones that will change minds. Legislators need to hear and feel how institutionalized discrimination affects you and your family.

Most of us have been working together on this campaign for the past two years, but many others have been at the forefront of the relationship recognition struggle since Baehr v. Lewin held there was a constitutional right to marry in 1993.  We’ve gone through ups like Baehr, and downs like the 1998 anti-marriage amendment, but times are changing and Hawaii is poised to join Illinois and New Jersey in offering civil unions to same-sex families. If you’d like to join our team and help us make history by winning civil unions in the Aloha State, you can email me at tony.wagner@hrc.org to volunteer.  Or you can take online action with our contact your legislators or letter to the editor campaigns.  There’s no time to waste – get involved today!

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