Friday Hawaii saw the cowardly defeat of House Bill 444, which would have provided equal benefits to same-sex couples. Aside from the crushing and demoralizing defeat by a procedural voice-vote (House members couldn’t even bring themselves to take a roll-call vote on the motion), there is a sad irony in the movement’s most recent defeat. The movement to ensure equal rights to same-sex couples started right here in the early 90’s.
What’s more ironic is the bill’s final death took place in the same chamber that saw its end in the same chamber that passed it just one year ago, merely a single vote shy of a two-thirds majority vote. Yes, the same people that passed the bill so overwhelmingly last year felt the undeniable need to save themselves from perceived losses in the coming elections. Rather than stand on principle, rather than do the honorable thing and grant these residents and citizens the State Supreme Court has said they deserve, our elected officials in the State House of Representatives tucked their tails between their legs and voted to save their jobs.