Political Radar


October 8th, 2013

State Rep. K. Mark Takai said Tuesday that he supports marriage equality.

Takai, who had voted against civil unions in 2011, had said last week that he was still undecided.

Takai is running in the Democratic primary for Congress in urban Honolulu's 1st Congressional District, so his vote will likely be closely watched by Democratic primary voters.

The four other declared candidates in the primary -- state Sen. Will Espero, Honolulu City Councilman Stanley Chang, Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson, and activist Kathryn Xian -- support marriage equality. State Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, who is considering a campaign, has been an opponent.

Takai's conversion puts the Star-Advertiser's vote count on the gay marriage bill at 28 to 17, with six lawmakers undecided.

In a statement, Takai said he has wrestled with the issue.

There have been few issues that I have grappled with more than same sex marriage in Hawaii. I have wrestled with my thoughts, my values, my faith and what I believe to be the best way forward. The world has changed – and so have I.

Since the ruling earlier this summer by the U.S. Supreme Court on Article III of the Defense of Marriage Act, this issue has had wide-spread attention in Hawaii and throughout the nation. Indeed, as elected leaders from President Obama to our Congressional delegation in Hawaii have stated their own positions, I’ve listened carefully.

I have served alongside gays and lesbians as a member of the Hawaii National Guard. The leadership taken by the Joint Chiefs of Staff has emboldened me to be a leader for Hawaii. The Servicemembers who I have worked with during my 14-years in the National Guard have underscored the importance of treating everyone fairly. And time and again, our men and women in uniform have risen to the challenge as society has changed around them.

Hawaii citizens, like most Americans, increasingly support marriage equality for our gay and lesbian friends, neighbors, colleagues and families. And through my own soul searching and thinking about this issue, I have come to agree.

I have heard from faith leaders and congregants on both sides of this issue, and I deeply respect their own deliberations and the strong feelings that so many have with regard to the marriage question. I have come to my own decision after careful consideration, in concert with my own values and faith, and it is my deepest hope that once this matter is concluded, we can set aside whatever differences remain and work together for Hawaii.

But leadership is about making tough calls, and today I stand firm in mine: There are no good reasons to continue to prevent every Hawaii resident from exercising his or her right to marry the person he or she loves.

It’s time that laws in Hawaii reflect the Aloha spirit and I will join with the majority in the State House to pass the marriage equality bill.

12 Responses to “28”

  1. ohiaforest3400:

    Congratulations to KMark. I didn't think he had it in him. He has evolved, and so, too, will my opinion of him.

  2. Auto de Fe:

    Gay 'marriage' is the price of admission to the Democratic Congressional Primary. Pathetic.

  3. Escpecially Incognito:

    One should conserve their what little breath
    they are without.

  4. Eric Ryan:

    Hey, if Tulsi Gabbard can change her stripes just in time to run for Congress, why not K. Mark? Or is it K-Mart? Either way. Run to the extreme in a primary, run to the center in the general. Politics 101. On sale at K-Mart.

  5. LoveHawaii:

    Mark Takai and Tulsi Garrbard aren't the only people who have evolved. Joseph Sciambra evolved ... in the other direction. He actually knows about the gay life. He lived it.

    Joseph was involved in the gay community and was a male porn star. He talks about the sadness and physical diseases that come with the lifestyle. If not for an experience at the hospital ... nearly dead, he might not have turned his life around. Before that, he wished for death. Now he tries to help others trapped in that lifestyle. Must our legislators take our LGBTQI community to the brink of disaster and pass a bill that will jeopardize the health and happiness? Sometimes the things we want can harm us. Below is a link to his testimony that people need to hear before unwittingly destroying the lives of our gay/lesbian brothers and sisters.


  6. ohiaforest3400:

    Two things, Auto:

    (1) Do you meant to say that only those who support marriage equality may run in the Democrat primary, at least as a practical matter? If so, is it then your belief that Donna Kim, who has always opposed it, will not, in fact, enter the primary? Or do you believe she will change her position, as well? and

    (2) Since Democrats are by far the majority in party membership and partisan office in Hawaii, isn't your assertion that support of marriage equality is necessary to enter the Democrat primary an admission, tacit or otherwise, that a majority of Hawaii residents also support it?

  7. ohiaforest3400:

    "Love", equating the porn star lifestyle with a marital relationship between two adults of the same gender could not be more of a case of "apples and oranges" and, if that is your argument against marriage equality, you have already lost, thankfully so.

    If this is the level of discourse to be expected on marriage equality, then I'm glad there will be a special session to address it. That way, come January, legislation to deal with real problems in the real world can be considered in an atmosphere free of poisonous, delusional rancor like this.

  8. Alan R. Spector:

    Thanks Ohiaforest3400. When I first read Love's comments this morning, I didn't even want to waste my time with a response to such an illogical and misinformed argument. Thanks for taking the time to do so.

    Interesting that Love discusses some of the very real harms that may be associated with life as a porn star and then makes the radical leap to equate this with marriage equality. Love even claims that marriage equality will destroy the lives of "our" gay brothers and sisters. Wow, with opponents like Love, it makes it so easy for us to win this.

  9. LoveHawaii:

    It is very sad that Ohia and Alan belittle anyone just because of their job choices. Some people would call that "bullying" or disrespecting someone because of their behavior/choices/orientation.

    If you don't like Joseph's testimony, does Michael Glatze meet your standards? He is a Dartmouth grad and was very well known in the gay community -- at one time a "poster boy". One of his quotes is:

    "I came to the conclusions on my own.

    It became clear to me, as I really thought about it – and really prayed about it – that homosexuality prevents us from finding our true self within. We cannot see the truth when we’re blinded by homosexuality."

    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2007/07/42385/#WRV1SSBhUdwMj3yx.99

    For me -- I care about both Joseph and Michael .. and Ohia and Alan. That is why I will oppose same sex marriage. It doesn't matter to me if you respect them or not -- they are all God's children and deserve love -- true love (not lust.)

  10. Especially Incognito:

    "Special" cases think they are exceptional.
    As one they hide.
    As a group they bully in numbers.
    The law will treat them the same when
    they do a crime. Maybe many want to be locked up.
    "Special" favors as a "special" inmate.

  11. ohiaforest3400:

    Love, I have no problem with Joseph, or Michael, or even you. The problem, if there is one, that you make an argument that is inflammatory, ignorant, and utterly irrelevant to your supposed position.

  12. Goober:

    Contrary is the word, and Mary is her name.

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