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Debate Heats Up Over Same-Sex Marriages

May 15, 2008

By Tammy Mori
The question now is...will California's supreme court ruling set a precedent for the rest of the country?

One thing that most seemed to agree on is that times are changing especially when it comes down to the issue of civil unions.

Marriage is a gift they want everyone to be able to experience...

And in 30 days, same-sex couples in California will be able to make that commitment.

"The largest state in the union and thir highest court said discrimination is wrong," says Bill Woods-Bateman, a Civil Union Supporter.

Proponents believe today's supreme court ruling shows how far we've come as a society, as more and more states define marriage and civil unions.

"In about 10 years the world has changed people have learned in Massachusetts nothing happens that's negative," points out Woods-Bateman.

And some argue that the sentiment is changing in Hawaii as well....

Representative Tom Brower showed us the results of his poll conducted just last month.

"Should the state of Hawaii allow same sex couples to be legally recognized in a civil union?" Brower asks in his poll.

48.8-percent were in favor of civil unions, while 41-percent opposed it.

But Senator Mike Gabbard says Hawaii voters have already spoken, back in 1998 when seventy-percent voted to ammend our constitution to protect traditional marriage.

Something California voters also did back in 2000.

"For these 4 judges to overturn that is basically spitting in the faces of 4.5 million voters and it is very very disappointing," says Senator Mike Gabbard, a Democrat representing Waikele, Makakilo, and Ko'Olina.

And the battle is far from over...in California and nationwide.

However today's decision brings couples one step closer to walking down that aisle.

"It's a challenging issue but I invite it to come back to the legislature because we are here to try and make the tough decision and to carry out the people's will," says Representative Brower, a Democrat with the Waikiki, Ala Moana, and Kakaako Districts..

"We see alot of things where government is actually making some changes and it takes time I'm hoping I get to see it," adds Woods-Bateman.

One Hawaii lawmaker says he is already drafting a bill relating to same-sex marriages...that he plans to present next session.

  Mike Gabbard - State Senate| P.O. Box 75480 Kapolei, Hawaii 96707
Phone: (808) 682-0676 | Fax:(808) 682-2591 | E-mail: mike@mikegabbard.com