January 25, 1997
Dueling Constitutional Amendments
This week the Hawaii House of Representatives passed a constitutional
amendment that empowers the Legislature to restrict marriage to heterosexual
couples (HB 117). The House also passed a "reciprocal beneficiary"
bill that gives less than 1% of the rights of marriage to couples who are
denied marriage rights. Four specific rights of marriage are made
available, provided the constitutional amendment is approved by the voters
(Nov. 1998). These rights would be available to a variety of couples:
a mother and a son, a father and a daughter, two siblings, as well as lesbian
or gay couples.
The four rights would be:
Senators Matt Matsunaga and Avery Chumbley have introduced SB 1800 to also
allow the state to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples. SB
1800 would add the following language to Article IX of Hawaii's Constitution:
Hospital visitation and the right to make medical decisions
Tenancy in the entirety
Certain rights of inheritance in probate court if a reciprocal beneficiary
dies intestate (about 3% per year of reciprocity, sometimes 4%, to a maximum
The right to sue for wrongful death
The State shall have the power to regulate and define the institution
of marriage, including the reservation of marriage to couples of the opposite
sex; provided that this reservation shall be effective only if the laws
of the State ensure that the application of this reservation does not deprive
any person of civil rights on the basis of sex.
Hearings have not yet been announced on SB 1800.
The key difference in the two CA's: under the House version, civil
rights exist at the whim of the legislature. Under the Senate version,
equal rights under the law with no discrimination based on sex are kept
in the Constitution.
President, Friends of h.e.r.m.p
Ex-Officio, h.e.r.m.p Steering Committee
How To Help?
Back to Latest Updates
Write Gov. Ben Cayetano, Hawaii State Capitol, Honolulu, HI 96813 to describe
how much money you plan to spend in Hawaii on your eventual wedding, or
how much you'd like to visit a state that is supportive of all people.
Be polite and courteous. Do not threaten anything.
Hawaii is many things, most of them unknown outside of the State.
For example, the cost of living is very high here (like Alaska) and incomes
are relatively low. MOST FAMILIES HAVE THREE OR FOUR JOBS TO MAKE
ENDS MEET. This means (a) they don't have money to give to civil
rights causes and (b) they don't have time. ALL OF THE CURRENT MEMBERS
OF THE HERMP STEERING COMMITTEE HAVE AT LEAST TWO JOBS, AND GIVE THEIR
TIME TO HERMP ON TOP OF THAT. Please be generous to
PO Box 11690
Honolulu, HI 96828
Hawaii is the most intense media-oriented market in the United States.
Most people here relate to the political process through the media (which
isn't surprising, if you have two jobs and catch it all on the car radio
on your ways to work). Recently, the faculty union of the University
of Hawaii spent over $200,000 on a TV ad campaign to persuade the governor
to complete negotiations on a contract that had expired over 18 months
ago. The TV campaign worked. THAT'S HOW BUSINESS IS DONE HERE.
Please be generous to
Friends of h.e.r.m.p
PO Box 11690
Honolulu, HI 96828.
Friends of h.e.r.m.p is non-profit (501(c)4), not tax-deductible, and
created to make a media presence for the truth about marriage rights.
Back to Home