Civil Union supporters push for same sex marriage

KITV - January 26, 2013
Nana Ohkawa

There's a new push to legalize same sex marriage in Hawaii, where civil unions are allowed.

Aaron Escobido-Ortiz and Bruce Lee are have been together for seven years.They say if this newly introduced bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Hawaii passes they will finally not feel like second class citizens.

"Born and raised in Hawaii we feel that we deserve to enjoy the equal rights that other couples can enjoy," said Escobido-Ortiz.

The couple believes marriage is key because it would provide them with rights that they say civil unions do not.

"Should something happen to my partner, I want to have the protection that straight couples have ," said Escobido-Ortiz.

"It's about time," said Carolyn Golojuch, a mother who's been fighting for the equality of her gay son for more than a decade.

"This is like something I've been waiting for knowing that it was going to happen, now it's happening," said Golojuch.

Senator Mike Gabbard who didn't support the approval of civil unions doesn't think the decision on same-sex marriage should be pushed through legislation.

"Let the people decide, constitutional amendment to preserve traditional marriage, yes or no," said Gabbard.

That would drive the decision into 2014.

"Traditional's foundation, you know, it's not just a word, and when you try to change something as foundational as marriage it has an affect on families," said Gabbard.

But for Escobido-Ortiz and Lee the bill means much more than the right to get married.

"I think it's going to send a message across the board not only to couples who wanted to get married, but to the younger kids who are committing suicide. It's going to let them know that it's okay to be gay," said Escobido-Ortiz.

PFLAG, Parents, families, and friends of lesbians and gays plan to have rallies starting next friday at the state capitol to voice their support of the bill.

The bill could be heard in the next couple of months.