At some point in the next 36 hours, a final effort will be made in the Hawaii Senate to bring House Bill 444, the civil unions bill, to a vote. The move will likely come either in the form of a motion by Sen. Les Ihara to pull the bill from the Judiciary Committee or as a request by Sen. Brian Taniguchi for a waiver from Senate President Colleen Hanabusa. Either attempt, if successful, would almost certainly result in the passage of HB 444—there are, by all accounts, plenty of votes in the Senate to assure its passage—and forward the bill to Gov. Linda Lingle.
Senate insiders and civil unions advocates believe the bill still has a fighting chance, and that everything depends on how much pressure senators feel from the community. To that end, supporters have been gathering signatures in a petition drive—more than 10,000 in recent weeks—and have even taken to the Web, hosting a YouTube page featuring nine videos examining different aspects of the political situation. The videos are fascinating, and if viewed with an eye to the political intrigue over the fate of HB 444, tell a compelling, if confounding, story.
We have been saying this for months, and this is the last time we’ll have a chance to say it for probably two years: if you value equal rights for all of Hawaii’s families, call your senator, and call Sen. Hanabusa.
Check out the videos at [youtube.com].
Call Senate President Colleen Hanabusa: 586-7793
Locate your senator: [capitol.hawaii.gov]