Vote on same-sex marriage should be put to people

The same-sex marriage bill passed last year accomplished the following:

* It reversed the intent and meaning of Hawaii Constitutional Amendment 2, passed in 1998 by 69.2 percent of the vote.

* It showed how, for the first time, a simple statute passed by the Legislature in special session could reverse a constitutional amendment. Using this logic, the First Amendment right of free speech could be reinterpreted by Congress to apply to the press as defined in its statute. Internet speech could be censored.

* It redefined the word marriage. Few would disagree that same- and opposite-sex couples should have equal secular rights. That question had already been settled. But marriage is also a religious sacrament. Because marriage has been legally redefined, clergy must claim now the right to refuse to marry based on an exemption to a law rather than on the meaning of a law.

* It redefined the meaning of gender. In Hawaii law, words are now to be interpreted as gender neutral. This is reminiscent of the heady days to the French and Russian revolutions when people were referred to with classless words like citizen or comrade rather than sexist words like missis, mister or miss.

The people should have had the opportunity to vote on this important issue. Absent that, another word should have been designated as having the same legal meaning as marriage in the state of Hawaii.

I am the Republican candidate for Upcountry House (District 12). My positions are available on

Richard Pohle