Statement from Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry, on Hawaii Civil Union Vote


Hawaii House of Representatives Joins the State Senate in Overwhelming Support for Civil Union Bill
"Step in the Right Direction, Though Short of Marriage"

For Immediate Release:
April 30, 2010, New York, NY

Evan Wolfson Executive Director, Freedom to Marry

New York, April 30, 2010 -

Statement by Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry following the Hawaii State Legislature's passage of House Bill 444, which, when signed by Governor Linda Lingle, will establish civil unions in Hawaii.  Wolfson is author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry and was co-counsel in the historic Baehr v. Miike Hawaii case that sparked the national marriage movement.

"In the 1990s, Hawaii began the national conversation about ending gay couples’ exclusion from marriage, and was the first to create a legal status to provide some state-level recognition and protections for same-sex couples. The legislature’s passage of a civil union bill marks a major step forward in Hawaii’s journey toward fairness and equality, but falls short of the full security and equal protection that come only with the freedom to marry.  In the years since the groundbreaking Hawaii marriage case, the experience of other states such as Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and New Jersey – as well as several countries -- has been that civil unions are no substitute for marriage.  I urge Governor Lingle to swiftly sign House Bill 444 into law, and to Hawaii continuing its journey and finishing the job by ending the denial of marriage."

Freedom to Marry applauds the leadership of Equality Hawaii and others who tenaciously made the case for fairness and moving forward, and will continue to work with our partners in Hawaii to secure the freedom to marry for all couples.

Freedom to Marry Resources on "Marriage versus Civil Unions"   

Recent Article by Evan Wolfson Recalling the Groundbreaking Baehr v. Miike Case in Hawaii, "Fourteen Years After Hawaii: New Freedom to Marry Case in California; Same Old, Same Old From Opponents" - 
Freedom to Marry is the leading campaign working to win marriage nationwide.  We partner with organizations and supporters across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from the responsibilities, protections, and commitment of marriage.