Tag Archives: civil-unions

Taking a look at the benefits of Civil-Unions

As the moment of Gov. Abercrombie’s signing ceremony for SB232 approaches, debate has already begun on what benefits and consequences will occur once civil-unions become legal in Hawaii.  The January edition of Hawaii Business featured a story on those issues written by Jerry Burris.  The article focuses on the economical impacts of civil-unions and the lack of hard data to prove the arguments from either side.

Here are some of the interesting points from the article:

  • Hawaii employers would see about a 1% increase in employee benefit costs.
  • Hawaii would see revenue of $4 million to $40 million for the first four years after civil-unions become legal.
  • The state of New Hampshire saved $400,000 a year on Medicaid payments after legalizing civil-unions.

For more information, check out the article: Legalizing Civil Unions-Boon or Bane for Hawaii’s Economy?



Civil-Unions Reader Comments

With Gov. Abercrombie preparing to sign the Civil Unions Bill on Wednesday, we asked our readers to share their opinions on civil unions.  About 75% of the comments and emails were in favor of civil unions.  Here are a few of the responses:

Sue: “Against civil unions because marriage should be between a man and a woman.”

James: “Marriage existed long before Christianity did. Marriage is not unique to Christianity. Therefore we should not allow Christianity to hijack the institution of marriage.”

Jen: “Marry whom every you want, as long as they are humans! Aren’t there more important things to fight about…like our country’s debt?”

We thank everyone for sending us their opinon on the issue.  Please keep them coming as we encourage dialogue on every subject.  In case you were wondering, the signing ceremony will be live streaming on the governor’s site.

SB232: How they voted/Signing ceremony announced

Wednesday was a monumental day for gay rights activists.  The passage of SB232 and the promise Gov. Abercrombie made to sign the legislation has many supporters feeling giddy.  The bill would extend the same rights, benefits, and protections to homosexual/heterosexual couples, as those extended to couples from a traditional marriage.  This would serve as strictly a state recognized law.  Sen. Sam Slom, who voted against SB232,  asked that the Senate focus on economic issues rather than social issues.  Another no vote came from Sen. Mike Gabbard who told colleagues to consider amendments which would include blood relatives.  Support came from Sen. Clayton Hee who held Associate Justice, Sabrina McKenna, as an example of justice being served by SB232.  McKenna is openly gay and was confirmed to the position of Associate Justice minutes before the civil-unions vote.  The legislation passed by a 18-5 vote.

Here is a breakdown of how the Senate voted on SB232:


Rosalyn Baker

Suzanne Chun Oakland

J. Kalani English

Carol Fukunaga

Brickwood Galuteria

Josh Green

Clayton Hee

David Ige

Les Ihara Jr.

Gilbert Kahele

Michelle Kidani

Clarence Nishihara

Pohai Ryan

Maile Shimabukuro

Malama Solomon

Jill Tokuda

Shan Tsutsui

Glen Wakai


Donovan Dela Cruz

Will Espero

Mike Gabbard

Donna Mercado Kim

Sam Slom


Ronald Kouchi

Brian Taniguchi

A signing ceremony will take place on Wednesday, February 23rd to begin at 1pm located at Washington Place.  The ceremony will be streamed live.

Civil-Unions on the Verge

UPDATED: 2/16/2011 1:28PM

By a 18-5 margin. Senate Bill 232 passed the Hawaii State Senate.  Roars from the rafters were heard as the final tally was confirmed.  The bill is now slated to reach Gov. Abercrombie’s desk in a few days where he is expected to approve the measure.  Supporters of the bill will be hosting a “Thank you” sign waving session in front of the Capitol at 4pm.

We’ll have a full write-up on the proceedings of the vote on Friday.


The Hawaii Senate decided to hold off on a final vote on Senate Bill 232 until today.  The Senate was scheduled to vote on Tuesday, however,  Sen. Clayton Hee explained the senior body used the extra day to ensure all legal notice requirements were observed.

SB232 would grant all couples, same-sex or heterosexual, the ability to enter into a civil-union, a legal status with all the rights, benefits and protections of a traditional marriage.

There is much anticipation leading up to the vote.  Supporters and opponents alike are waiting for the final tally.  Many supporters are excited to see the quick movement with the incentive that Gov. Abercrombie has stated he would sign the bill.

Desperate America Report will have live updates on Twitter as the vote nears.  If you are personally in attendance please tweet us the events as they happen.

Updated: House Votes on Civil-Unions

Updated 2/11/2011 6:03pm

The Hawaii State House voted to pass Senate Bill 232 by a 31-19 margin.  The bill will now move back over to the Senate where the senior legislative body will vote on the House amendments.  It is expected that the Senate will pass the bill with little resistance.  For more on Bill 232 stay tuned to Desperate America Report for all the updates.


As previously reported, the Hawaii State House is expected to hold a floor vote on SB232, the Civil-Unions bill.  It is expected to pass and be moved back to the Senate to vote on the amendments.

The hearing is set to begin at 12:00Pm.

We will be having updates throughout the day on Twitter.

Tell Us What You Think: Civil Unions

With the House holding a floor vote on Friday, and always wanting to know how our readers feel, Desperate America Report wants to know where you stand on the issue of Civil Unions.

Are you for or against? Why?

Only two options. We want to know how you really feel and why.

Leave a comment below or send us an email. We’ll put up some of the best responses from either side. All we ask is that everyone be civil!

So tell us: How do you feel about Civil Unions?

House Committee To Hear Civil Unions Bill

The Hawaii State House will hold a Judiciary committee hearing on Senate Bill 232.  SB232 passed over to the House after passing a third reading in the Senate on Friday, January 27th.  Representative Gilbert Keith-Agaran (D-19) currently chairs the House Judiciary Committee. 

The hearing will be held on Tuesday, February 8th @ 2:15PM in the Capitol Auditorium.  A large crowd is expected similar to that of the gathering from the Senate hearing a few weeks ago.  The committee is currently accepting written testimony with a deadline of 4Pm on Monday, February 7th.  Testimony can be submitted here or for more info visit the Judiciary web page.

For more information on the bill’s progress, keep your browsers on Desperate America Report.  Follow us on Twitter for up to date news and events!

Busy Day in Politics

The Hawaii  Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee will be hosting the first hearing of the 2011 session on Civil Unions.  The JDL hearing has gotten so much attention, the site of the hearing has been moved to the auditorium to accomodate the expected crowd.  The hearings begin at 10AM.  Need more info on this year’s version of the Civil Unions bill? Check out our write-up from last week.

Also in the political world today is the much anticipated State of the Union speech from President Obama.  There has been much talk about bipartisan seating by members of Congress as well as how the President’s recent remarks in Arizona will affect tonight’s speech.  The speech is set for 9PM EST or 4PM for Hawaii residents.  The White House webpage is offering an interactive way to follow the big speech with complete resources of charts and graphs relating to President Obama’s speech.  The speech will be simulcasted along all the networks and we can expect immediate analysis by the pundits.  For more on what to expect, take a look at the interesting article by Nate Silver.

SB232: Another Go at Civil Unions

Update: Jan. 26, 2011; 10:55Pm

Friday, Jan. 27 is the expected full Senate floor vote on SB232.  The bill passed out of the Judiciary and Labor Committee on Tuesday by a 3-2 margin.  Follow us on Twitter for updates on the proceedings.


On Tuesday, January 25, the Hawaii State Senate’s Judiciary and Labor Committee will hold the first hearing of the session on Senate Bill 232.  SB232 was introduced by Sen. Brickwood Galuteria (D-12) on the Friday, January 21.  The bill past the first reading and was sent to the JDL for hearings.  This marks the Senate’s first attempt to get the ball rolling on the much anticipated Civil Unions battle.  Last session ended with a fury unseen in most final days as proponents of the House’s version of a Civil Unions bill, HB444, finally got their wish have holding a floor vote.  After lengthy discussion, HB444 passed with much applause from supporters and dismay from opponents.  It was a feel good moment for many in the capitol that day that would be short lived after a veto by then governor, Linda Lingle.  With Neil Abercrombie now at Washington Place, supporters of Civil Unions have a renewed sense of purpose as the governor has already pledged to sign a Civil Unions bill into law should it arrive on his desk.

If you want to get involved in this issue you may do so in written testimony which will be submitted as “public testimony” for the hearing.  This is your chance to get your voice heard by the committee as well as the legislature at large.

Here are the details of the hearing:

Date: Tuesday January 25, 2011

Time: 10AM

Location: RM 016

For more information visit the SB232 information page.

The page provides links on when testimony must be submitted as well as contact info for inquiries.

What to Look Forward to: Hawaii’s 2011 Legislature

With the start of Hawaii’s 2011 Legislative Session comes the anticipation for it all to end.  Previous years have brought very public fights over money and jobs.  Some may point to the clash between ideology as there was a Republican Governor and a Democrat controlled Legislature.  However, there were just as many fights with Democrats Ben Cayetano and John Waihee III residing at Washington Place.

The issues facing the 2011 Hawaii Legislature are many.  Issues such as Civil Unions, raising the General Excise Tax, plugging the budget holes and the glaring problem of furloughs.  However, this year also brings a wildcard issue, the new Governor, Neil Abercrombie.  Abercrombie has already made some waves by moving money towards some benefits for state workers as well as his much-anticipated choices for the appointed Board of Education.  The 2011 session promises to be filled with fireworks from both sides as Senate Republicans have now dropped the “s” and have become the Senate Republican.  The House has finally settled the leadership dispute and have reelected Calvin Say as the House Speaker.

With the first week of the legislative session nearly in the books, Desperate America Report wants to know what are your concerns for this session.  What are some of the issues you feel need to be addressed by Hawaii’s lawmakers.  Please leave your responses in the comment section below and we will feature them next week!

For more on the Hawaii State Legislature