The court room was packed as many people took a vacation day to witness the closing arguments. Deputy A. G. Rick Eichor went first with his closing arguments, for about 24 minutes. He maintained that the state has a compellinginterest "in promoting the optimal development of children", that "children do best when they have the personal involvement and material support of a father and a mother" and this is the "single, simple premise of our case and the single, simple premise of the marriage law." Mr. Eichor did not feel that Hawaii should begin a "grand social experiment" with same sex marriage. Two men and/or two women are not the same dyad as a family. In one of the most puzzling remarks made to date by Mr. Eichor, he maintained that children born into a same sex union always have one natural parent and one parent outside the union and the child is left without hope that mom and dad may someday marry. Mr. Eichor criticized the research presented, questioned the motivation of the plaintiff's witnesses, and promoted the myth that marriage is for procreation ("...the compelling stated interest that would legitimate the ban against same sex marriage is the procreation of children under the best possible circumstances"). "Generally all male/female couples can have children and all same sex couples can not" [in Hawaii, procreation was removed from the marriage statutes in 1984, as being discrimination against the elderly and the handicapped]. He ended with a completely scurrilous remark: marriage rights for gays and lesbians would endanger society's power to prohibit and regulate harmful behaviours such as prostitution, polygamy, and incest. This last possibility, backed by absolutely no testimony or earlier discussion in court, became the headline for the home edition of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin: that the state says incest could be next!
Dan Foley, attorney for the plaintiffs, had the final word. Foley admonished Mr. Eichor for comparing marriage with prostitution, polygamy, and incest. Foley said these are "...red herrings..." having nothing to do with the case. He then addressed the credibility and biases of the four witnesses for the state. Foley noted that two of the state's witnesses comndemmed homosexuality, one state witness testified against the field of psychology (in which he was alleged to be an expert), one state witness was against the theory of evolution, etc. According to Foley, the undisputed data and testimony of the experts showed:
P. S. Here are the players and organizations
in Hawaii whose primary focus is on same gender marriage and which work
closely with h.e.r.m.p:
h.e.r.m.p: the ONLY organization paying the legal fees of Dan Foley, the attorney who is in charge of the case with Evan Wolfson and Kirk Cashmere as co-counsels. h.e.r.m.p was created when the three plaintiff couples came to the Gay and Lesbian Community Center in 1993 for help in raising funds to pay the legal expenses (they had to distance themselves from an earlier organizational structure). Donations to h.e.r.m.p are fully tax-deductible and can be made to GLCC-HERMP, 1521 Alexander St., #503, Honolulu, HI 96822. h.e.r.m.p currently owes Dan Foley about $13,000, with the bill mounting rapidly during the trial in September.
Friends of h.e.r.m.p: an organization parallel to h.e.r.m.p to handle the NON-tax-deductible public education and media work. The address is PO BOX 11690, Honolulu, HI 96828. They have launched a 900-number, for donations of between $5 and $25: 1-900-97-MARRY.
Alliance for Equal Rights: this political action group predates h.e.r.m.p considerably. It played a strong role in getting Hawaii's law that bans discrimination in employment (with Leon Rouse as the lobbyist for that). It's top priority is the support of legislative candidates who support same gender marrige, but it can't give money directly to the candidate's election campaigns. The address is 2139 Chamberlain Street, Honolulu, HI 96822.
The Equality Fund: an organization parallel to the Alliance, which is a registered PAC giving money directly to legislative candidates. The address is PO BOX 11690, Honolulu, HI 96828.
The following national organizations endorse
h.e.r.m.p and Friends of h.e.r.m.p (with its 900-number):
Astrea National Lesbian Action Foundation
Gay And Lesbian Medical Association
Gay/Lesbian/Straight Teachers Network
Human Rights Campaign
Lambda Legal Defense And Education Fund
National Black Gay And Lesbian Leadership Forum
National Gay And Lesbian Task Force
Parents And Friends Of Lesbians And Gays
Deaf Queer Resource Center
New York Freedom To Marry
P.S. Web sites for additional HERMP information:
The latter is provided by a BBS, which also provides BBS access to
Tropical Night BBS (808) 235-5558
For legal documents related to Baehr v. Lewin (now Baehr v. Miike):
which has a link to marriage and Baehr v. Lewin
For national as well as Hawaii information:
The Hawaii Equal Rights Marriage Project, HERMP, is the sole support of
the work of Dan Foley on Baehr v. Lewin (Foley is the attorney who
makes all court appearances on behalf of the plaintiff couples). Please be
generous in support of HERMP; Hawaii is a small state, and the tiny gay
and lesbian community here is very active in advocacy work which
HERMP cannot address. Donations to HERMP are fully tax-deductible,
and should be made out to:
1521 Alexander Street, #503
Honolulu, HI 96822.
The HERMP branch in Kona, on the Big Island, has produced a T-shirt for
sale. One can send a check for $17.50 to HERMP, P.O.Box 902, Captain
Cook, HI 96704, together with a note about being sent a T-shirt (S, M, L,
XL, XXL). It is also available in a tank top. The design is multi-color on
white. A large triangle points down, with the letters h.e.r.m.p above the
triangle, some male-male, female-female symbols in the border of the
triangle and some palm trees. To place an email order for T-shirts, or to
obtain more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. An image of the
T-shirt is available via the WEB on
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