HSTA BOD affirms protection of human and civil rights

Please scroll down to read more about HSTA’s statement.
Read HSTA’s statement regarding marriage equality HERE » (pdf)

(Posted November 12, 2013)

Olelo to air governor’s ceremony to sign same-sex marriage bill

By Star-Advertiser staff

Olelo Community Television (Channel 55) will air live coverage of Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s ceremony to sign the same sex marriage bill into law from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Hawai’i Convention Center.

What happens next?

Timeline of how SB1 became a law

(Posted November 7, 2013)

House vote will be televised

By Associated Press

Hawaii House officials say the chamber’s final vote on a bill to legalize gay marriage will be broadcast live on television across the state.

The special session vote scheduled for Friday (November 8) will be broadcast on Olelo Channel 54 on Oahu and community stations on Kauai, the Big Island and Maui.

The Oahu broadcaster also plans to stream the final debate and vote through a live webcast at http://www.olelo.org

The live coverage comes after several lawmakers complained on the House floor Wednesday night that their debate was only carried on closed-circuit TV at the Hawaii Capitol.

Crowds gathered in the chamber and outside in the Capitol rotunda, with many people huddling around a television to catch what lawmakers were saying.

Statement from the Hawaii Department of Education:
(Posted November 5, 2013)

Nov. 5, 2013

Statement by Superintendent Matayoshi on Senate Bill 1

HONOLULU - Hawaii State Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi today made the following statement to address the rising discussion over the DOE’s role in the current special session regarding Senate Bill 1:

“It has come to our attention that statements are being made before the Legislature claiming to represent the State of Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) and what is taught in our public schools.

“For the record, the DOE does not have marriage as a lesson in its curriculum. The DOE and its public schools remain committed to teaching all students regardless of their home situation. We understand that our students come from a variety of backgrounds, whether the adult caregivers in their lives are married, single, in a civil union, a grandparent, foster parents or incarcerated parents, are divorced, or divorced and remarried. Whatever the case may be, we support, care for and educate all children to help them fulfill their potential. We teach students how to treat each other with respect and aloha. We hope that all adults can share in the responsibility as a community of living aloha.

“The DOE is also equally committed to providing a safe and enjoyable learning atmosphere for students, families and educators and promoting a sense of belonging and acceptance for all in our school communities.”

Information about the 2013 Second Special Session (October 28, 2013) is available at the Hawaii State Legislature Web site link below:
Hearing notices, text of the Second Special Session measures, and how to submit testimony are all located at the bottom of the 2013 Second Special Session Page:


Marriage Equality

Aloha Colleagues,

HSTA and its national affiliate, the NEA, have a proud history of fighting for equality of all individuals. HSTA believes that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identification must be eliminated.

In 1998 HSTA took a position against the constitutional amendment that would allow the Legislature to reserve marriage to the opposite sex couples.

HSTA did so at that time because protection of human and civil rights is part of our basic philosophy.

The current law provides that the Legislature reserves marriage to that of opposite sex couples, and while HSTA was instrumental in the effort to pass the legislation that allowed civil unions in Hawaii, It is now time to take the next step.

The HSTA Board of Directors reaffirmed its 1998 position which opposed the constitutional amendment that allowed the Legislature to define marriage as between a man and a woman. The Board also approved a motion that states: “Provided that the legislation to be considered during the special session of October 28, 2013, be in keeping with HSTA’s position on Human and Civil Rights, the president has the authority to speak for HSTA on the matter.”

I will be indicating our support of any bill that broadens the current definition of marriage. It is in keeping with the belief statement that HSTA took 15 years ago.

Wil Okabe


Media Contact:     
Dawn Hirai                          
Stryker Weiner & Yokota            
Cell: (808) 722-9445                  
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Lea Okudara
Stryker Weiner & Yokota
Cell: (808) 729-6776
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Read HSTA’s statement regarding marriage equality HERE » (pdf)