Civil Unions –Same Sex Marriage by Another Name
HB 444 HD1
The civil unions bill, HB 444 HD1, was heard in the House Judiciary committee on February 5, 2009. The hearing was overwhelmingly packed by supporters. One estimate is that it was 10-1 in favor. The final vote of the House Judiciary Committee were as follows: 12 Ayes: Representative(s) Karamatsu, Ito, Belatti, Cabanilla, Herkes, Luke, Morita, B. Oshiro, Souki, Tsuji, Marumoto, Thielen; Ayes with reservations: none; Noes: none; and 4 Excused: Representative(s) Carroll, McKelvey, Mizuno, Wakai.
If passed, HB444 HD1, extends the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities of spouses in a marriage to partners in a civil union. (Marriage by another name). One testifier openly admitted that this is a step to same-sex marriage. The bill will move to the full House for a vote. ACTION: Now is the time to contact your own representative and let them know that you do not support civil unions. As we reported in an earlier e-alert, the bill is highly anticipated to pass the House. Your calls and emails are very important.
Abstinence Education & Title V Funding
HB 329 HD1 / HB 330 HD1
These problematic bills are aimed directly at Catholic Charities “Try Wait” program. Both bills were heard in the House Health Committee on January 30, 2009.
HB 329 requires the State to reject all Title V federal funding for mandated abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. The final vote in the House Health Committee were as follows: 6 Ayes: Representative(s) Yamane, Nishimoto, Bertram, Brower, Mizuno, Shimabukuro; Ayes with reservations: none; 1 Noes: Representative(s) Finnegan; and 2 Excused: Representative(s) Belatti, Carroll.
HB 330 requires any recipient of state funding specifically for sexuality health education programs to provide comprehensive medically accurate sexuality education. The final votes in committee were as follows: Ayes: Representative(s) Yamane, Nishimoto, Bertram, Brower, Mizuno, Shimabukuro; Ayes with reservations: Representative(s) Finnegan; 0 Noes: none; and 2 Excused: Representative(s) Belatti, Carroll.
Both bills now move the House Education committee.
HB 423 HD1
HB 423 requires hospitals to provide information about emergency contraception to women who are sexually assaulted and to provide emergency contraception when requested and provides for administrative penalties for noncompliance. The bill originally would have forced Hawaii Medical Centers (HMC) (located on property owned by St. Francis) to administer the morning after pill, which can act as an abortificiant. We are grateful to the House Health Committee who added language to grant HMC a religious exemption. We have to watch the bill closely because it now moves to the House Judiciary Committee and the language could be removed. We will keep you posted.
There still have been no hearings on the proposals to legalize physician assisted suicide. It is coming, so PLEASE BE PREPARED on short notice to make calls and send in testimony. A public hearing could be scheduled at any time. We will keep you posted.
To see all bills being tracked by HFF/HCC, and to read our testimony, click here.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Hawaii Legislative Update
From the Hawaii Family Forum