HRC Blog

Pressure Mounts on Hawaii House Speaker Calvin Say

A campaign poster illustrating the sentiment of many activists on the ground and actions they’re taking in response to Friday’s vote After HRC launched our online action alert yesterday urging our members and supporters to let Speaker Say know that he has disappointed the people of Hawaii, many local and allied groups continued to put the pressure on the Speaker, as well.  Members of Equality Hawaii will be launching a similar campaign to their members tomorrow and also alerted us to a new facebook group that urges the Speaker to step down.  The group posted pictures of an impromptu meeting they had with the Speaker after Friday's voice vote to postpone, where they shared with him their disgust with his actions.  Stay tuned for updates about various events as they become available. As for the media response to Friday’s actions and yesterday’s lawsuit announcement, much of the attention has been favorable to the civil unions debate.  The Star Bulletin, the state’s second largest paper, this morning published an editorial in support of civil unions and how the actions of the House were cowardly.  "The shameful, anonymous voice vote on the civil unions measure is not the way business should be conducted on any issue by elected officials, who need to be accountable for their votes.  It is not how decisions — even, or especially, controversial ones — should be made in an open, representative democracy." Hawaii's largest newspaper, The Honolulu Advertiser, picked up Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Hawaii's press statement regarding the planned lawsuit.  The lawsuit plans to "claim that the state's decision not to extend equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples is a violation of their equal protection rights.  They will also argue that the state's reciprocal beneficiaries law, which gives same-sex partners some rights, is inadequate."

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