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OPINION: Gay Marriage – Go All the Way

June 20, 2012, 10:36 AM HST
* Updated June 20, 11:09 AM
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Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream. Joe Biden on the other hand, had an uncontrollable truth-spasm.

It wasn’t poetry, but it was a game-changer.

In a recent bout of candor, the vice president affirmed his support for gay marriage, ripping the band-aid off the Democratic Party’s conflicted and awkward stance on the subject.

Though some democratic politicians have been supportive of equal marriage rights, most at the national level have been cryptic at best (“Marriage? Yeah, I dig it. But civil unions are pretty cool too! Um, can we talk jobs?”)

Biden’s bunker-busting honesty quickly smoked out President Obama, who wisely used the moment to champion civil rights and contrast himself from the sexuality-allergic Mitt Romney. This has forced those sitting on the fence to choose sides, cleanly dividing left from right just in time for election season.

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Hawaii’s civil union law went into effect in January of this year, effectively granting same-sex couples the ability to acquire all the legal rights that would be provided by marriage. It was a milestone for gay rights in the aloha state, but it should never be the finish line.

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With gay marriage now condoned by a Hawaii-born president, this election year is a perfect time to grill local politicians, and ask them the simple question “why not simply let all couples wed?”

The answers of course are usually muddled, with the most unsavory explanations surrounding an almost conspiracy theory-like belief in a “homosexual agenda.” It’s an absurd torch to carry, and more than a few of its national-level crusaders have, ironically, been dragged out of the closet by journalists and former same-sex flames.

Image courtesy of Wayne State University.

Politely negative responses often surround “saving” traditional marriage. It would be a valid point to make, if it were actually in danger. But to date, there have been no cases of fashion-forward commandos storming wedding chapels to seek-and-destroy hetero marriage licenses before they can be signed.

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Gay couples want nothing more than to be accepted, no strings attached. That day is approaching, and Hawaii should be prepared for it. Let politicians know it’s not only the right thing to do, it’s also important for business.

Canada, an important market for tourism here, became the first country in the Americas to legalize gay marriage in 2005. Six states in the US also allow same-sex marriage (New York recently joined the list) and in February of this year, Washington state’s governor signed a bill into law allowing gays to tie the knot.

With national polling pointing increasingly toward the acceptance of gay marriage, more states are sure to follow.

Hawaii’s tourism industry gets a healthy boost from the wedding business, and it’s in our interest to have as much matrimony going on as possible, regardless of people’s race, sexual preference, or even intelligence.

Who cares for instance, if most celebrity marriages end up in divorce? We want their bad decisions to be made here. Leave the fallout for the tabloids, we just need to collect the tab.

It should be simple and easy for anyone to come here and wed. The sooner we establish ourselves as the ultimate marriage destination, regardless of your lifestyle, the better off we will be.

Because sooner or later, Joe Biden’s getting a statue.

The vice president's blunt honesty is keeping Democrats candid on gay marriage. Image courtesy of University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

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