Please join our mailing list by clicking HERE!
We use E-mail about once a week and snail mail about four times a year.
Your address will be cherished and protected.

What is the scope of  couples' rights as "Reciprocal Beneficiaries" in Hawaii?  

This is not an easy question to answer.  In broad terms, RB couples have all the rights of marriage that Hawaii can grant as a state, except anything to do with family court (alimony, divorce, child custody resolution, etc.) and fair access to health insurance.  There are NO federal benefits (social security, federal income tax deduction, immigration, immunity from testifying against your partner in federal court, etc.)

We've written a 200-page book listing the laws.  To help people digest this book, we've also prepared three summaries of progressively shorter lengths.  All four texts are available here.  Please consult an attorney for the interpretation of any of this material, particularly the summaries.

Current News

  Good News!  Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono signs the Hate Crimes Bill into law June 13, 2001  (press release in pdf format).  For final passage, 21 Senators voted YES, 3 voted NO, and one was excused.  In the House, 39 voted YES, 12 voted NO and none was excused.  For more details:
  • Full text of the law.
  • Legislative History, for the 2001 Legislative Session.
  • Early Senate Judiciary Committee Report.  (Brian Kanno, chair)
  • House Judiciary Committee Report. (Eric Hamakawa, chair)
  • House Finance Committee Report. (Dwight Takamine, chair)
  • Senators Voting NOFred Hemings (Republican, Kailua); Sam Slom (Republican, Hawaii Kai); Norman Sakamoto (Democrat, Moanalua, Salt Lake).  Excused:  Cal Kawamoto (Democrat, Pearl City, Waipahu).
  • House Members Voting NOAuwae (Republican, Makaha, Waianae); Bukoski (Republican, Maui); Djou (Republican, Kahaluu, Kaneohe, Heeia, Ahuimanu);  Ito (Democrat, Kaneohe); Kahikina (Democrat, Barbers Point, Nanakuli, Maili, Waianae); Leong (Republican, Hawaii Kai, Aina Haina, etc.); McDermott (Republican, Aliamanu ... Aiea);  Meyer (Republican, Laie ... Heeia Kea);  Ontai (Republican, Wheeler AFB, Mililani);  Rath (Republican, South Kohala, North Kona); Stonebraker (Republican, Kalama Valley, Hawaii Kai, Portlock); Whalen (Republican, South Kona, North Kona).
  Please learn about the new project, the CIVIL UNIONS-CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.  Web page   and email address  One of the bete noire of Hawaii politics is Mike Gabbard, a man who has made a career of being anti-gay.  Learn more about him (and his wife, too, who is on Hawaii's Board of Education) at  
  Vermont now has "civil unions" for gay and lesbian couples, "reciprocal beneficiaries" for persons related by blood, and the "m" word for heterosexual couples.  The Vermont couples suing for marriage rights have now dropped their lawsuit.  To learn more about what it means, click here for a document prepared by 4 national LGBT legal resource groups.  


Some Other Background Materials
Milestones of The Project Through June of 2000, this lists milestones of Marriage Project Hawaii in its campaign to win the civil rights of marriage in Hawaii.

July 9, 1999
The FABULOUS Kingdom of GAY Animals

This is a great review of Bruce Bagemihl's new book, "Biological Exuberance, Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity."  Yes, Bagemihl destroys the "it ain't natural" argument.  This intellectual triumph is perhaps most important to Catholics, because many R. C. leaders have harassed their followers for centuries about birth control, etc., using the "it ain't natural" argument.  However, watch out for the next rhetorical twist of the knife:  homosexuality will be called downright bestial.  In the meantime, enjoy Bagemihl's triumph and chuckle at the contorted language used by homophobic zoologists to keep from seeing  what was happening before their eyes with hundreds of animal species.  Yes, Virginia, there is a picture in the book of a male giraffe mounting another male giraffe "in the wild"---not in prison, in boarding school, in the barracks, on board ship, or in the zoo.


Traditional Hawaiian Same-Sex Relationships

Prior to modern European contact, sexual relations among the people of Hawai'i rarely fit the norms of "traditional" European marriages---in any sense.  This paper briefly outlines some aspects of  an official same-sex relationship status that played a key role in governance.

Marriage Project - Hawaii
PO BOX 11690
Honolulu, HI 96828

Questions, Suggestions or Dead Links?  E-mail us here!

This page has been visited  since May 18, 1999