Monday, February 6, 2023
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Lambda Legal to drop lawsuit filed after defeat of HB444
By News Release @ 8:09 PM :: 5211 Views :: Energy, Environment

Lambda Legal Applauds Final Legislative Approval of Hawai`i Civil Union Bill

"This is a great day for all Hawai`i families."

News Release from Lambda Legal

(Honolulu, February 16, 2011) — Lambda Legal reacted with pleasure to the final legislative approval today of SB 232, a bill establishing civil unions for Hawai`i couples.  Voting 18-5, the Hawai`i Senate accepted amendments made before the House passed the bill last Friday, February 11, 2011 by a 31-19 vote. 

The bill originated in the Senate, which approved it on January 28, 2011 by a 19-6 margin.  It now goes to Governor Abercrombie, who not only has promised to sign it but made it a campaign issue last year.  Once enacted, the new law will take effect on January 1, 2012

"This is a great day for all Hawai`i families,” said Jennifer C. Pizer, National Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal.  "We commend and thank Hawai`i's legislators for deciding it's time for the state to take this important step.  We're here thanks to years of hard work by community members, people of faith, and civic and political leaders.  Our plaintiffs and thousands of other affected families can sleep easier knowing their legal system fully covers them. It will be a pleasure to dismiss our lawsuit and turn to helping families use this system.   At least thirteen other states and an impressive list of foreign countries prove that no one is hurt and all families are helped when everyone is covered under broad protective laws.   The Senate acted today in the best interest of all Hawai`i by passing SB 232.”

Lambda Legal and the ACLU filed a lawsuit in July, 2010 after then-Governor Linda Lingle vetoed HB 444, the previous civil unions bill.  The remedy requested in that suit will be provided by this bill, meaning there will be no need for the lawsuit to continue. 

"The Senate vote couldn't have gone better,” said Loren Javier, Director of Lambda Legal's Western Regional Office.  "This bill will deliver badly needed protections to thousands of families.  When Governor Abercrombie signs it into law, it will send a strong message that the State of Hawai`i values all its citizens.  Great credit for today's vote goes to the thousands of community members who for years have been sign-waving during rush hour, calling their representatives, and sharing their stories with their legislators, their neighbors and their families.  Today, we're one step closer to equality.”

Hawai`i's constitution was amended in 1998 to allow the Legislature to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples, which it has done.  This means same-sex couples cannot ask Hawai`i's courts to require full equality through marriage.  Although civil unions are a lesser status than marriage, they will provide a full range of state law protections and duties to gay and lesbian couples, such as access to family court to dissolve the legal status in an orderly way, clear duties to pay child support and alimony as spouses must, and other vital protections.  Bills to offer civil unions have been under steady consideration in the Hawai`i Legislature each year since 2001.

As of SB232's passage, five states (CT, IA, MA, NH and VT) and the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples to marry. Six states (CA, IL, NV, NJ, OR and WA) offer broad state-law protection through civil union or registered domestic partnership; Hawai`i will make it seven.  Five more states (Hawaii plus CO, ME, MD and WI) offer more limited protections through a non-marriage status (passage of SB232 will not change Hawai`i's reciprocal beneficiaries law). Others (including at least MD and NY, and probably NM and, for some purposes RI) respect marriages and/or non-marriage statuses that same-sex couples entered into in other states. Consequently, based on population estimates from the 2010 U.S. Census, as of February 2011, more than 40% of the United States population resides in a jurisdiction offering same-sex couples at least some form of state-level legal protection. 

Visit Lambda Legal's website for these educational materials about SB232 and Hawai`i law:



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii