Unfortunately, the Civil Unions bill (HB444), which I supported, is often confused with other issues. To clarify its purpose and my reason for supporting it, here's a summary of the key points:
The bill did not:
1. Legalize gay marriage.
2. Change the definition of "marriage," which is reserved for a man and a woman.
3. Require any church official or anyone else to perform the civil unions.
The bill did:
4. Protect the Constitutional rights of U.S. citizens, ensuring that all persons are treated equally, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a person's gender.
5. Support the 1993 Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples deserve the same protection under the law as heterosexual couples.
6. Extend spousal benefits and responsibilities to partners.
For my longer explanation, please click here.
For comments re my support of HB444, see Chet Urata and Thomas Dalbert.