Why Marriage?

A basic freedom

The freedom to marry the person you love is a basic freedom that should not be denied to anyone.  Gay and lesbian couples get married for similar reasons as everyone else – to make a lifetime promise of love, commitment and fidelity to the person they love.

In Hawaii, we don’t turn our backs on family.  No member of anyone’s ohana – gay or straight – should have to face shame because of who they are and who they love.

The government should not be in the business of telling people who they can and cannot marry.  None of us would want to be told that it is illegal to marry the person we love.

Marriage says ohana in a way that nothing else can

In a crisis situation, not everyone knows what a civil union means. Only marriage provides families the protections they need if their loved ones are in the hospital or have a school emergency.

Marriage is unique, there’s nothing else like it.  And marriage says ohana in a way that civil unions simply do not.

Protecting religious freedom

Allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry will not change how each religion defines marriage.  The proposed law specifically protects the rights of clergy, churches and religious organizations that do not perform or recognize marriages for same-sex couples.

Hawaii has a long history of fairness and equality

The Hawaii Supreme Court was the first in the nation in 1993 to strike down the ban on marriage for same-sex couples because it violated the State Constitution prohibition against discrimination.  In 1998, the voters of Hawaii gave the Legislature the authority to define marriage.  The Legislature passed a law that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

We are asking the Legislature to allow same-sex couples to join in marriage. Already 13 states plus the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples the freedom to marry the person they love.

Broad coalition of support in Hawaii

Hawaii United for Marriage is a statewide coalition of congregations, businesses, labor unions and community organizations working to pass civil marriage in Hawaii.

Together we are organizing statewide efforts to educate and advocate for the freedom to marry in Hawaii, reaching out to lawmakers and ensuring they hear from supporters in their districts.  Support for marriage equality in Hawaii is unprecedented. Though we come from different parts of Hawaii, we are united in ensuring that all people have the freedom to marry the person they love.