The antigay National Organization for Marriage is taking its opposition to marriage equality to the Hawaiian islands, on the same day the state's legislature reconvenes in a special session called by the governor to consider the Marriage Equality Act.
"The heritage of Hawaii's people is rooted in family — mothers and fathers, united in marriage, caring for each other and their keiki," declares a new 30-second ad paid for by NOM and two ostensibly local groups called Hawaii Family Advocates and Let the People Decide. "But some politicians want to redefine marriage, damaging our people who believe marriage unites one man and one woman."
The video uses the same false claims often trotted out by anti-equality groups, including the allegation that if marriage equality became the law of the land, "people and families [would be] punished for not agreeing." The ad also recycles biased language like the term "redefining marriage" and contends that marriage equality should be put to a popular vote.
The ad utilizes several traditional Hawaiian words and concepts, including that of ohana, or family, which apparently to these antigay advocates does not include families headed by same-sex couples. Watch the ad below
While NOM makes its presence felt in Hawaii, a gay former Republican presidential candidate has filed a complaint alleging that the national organization is a front for the Mormon Church and that the group has violated campaign finance laws in the state.
Fred Karger, who ran in 2012 as the first openly gay Republican presidential hopeful, has filed election finance misconduct suits in at least four states where NOM has invested out-of-state money opposing marriage equality.
Karger's complaint, sent Friday to Hawaii's State Ethics Commission, claims that NOM and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints "[appear] to be violating State of Hawaii ethics laws by failing to register all of its paid employees who may be lobbying state legislators," reads Karger's complaint, published at The New Civil Rights Movement. "The LDS Church has once again come out strongly against same-sex marriage, and there are reports that they have high ranking paid Church employees urging Senate and House members to vote against the same-sex marriage bill when it is heard during next week’s Special Legislative Session."
Watch NOM's antigay ad below, and stay tuned with The Advocate to find the latest updates on the legislative debate over marriage equality in the Aloha State.