By B.J. Reyes
The Equality Hawaii Action Fund, a nonpartisan political action committee, on Friday announced its endorsements for the state’s congressional primaries.
The PAC chose candidates based on their support of five federal issues:
>> The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
>> The repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
>> Equal rights for same-sex military spouses (following the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell).
>> Equal immigration rights for binational same-sex families (Uniting American Families Act).
>> The Safe Schools Improvement Act.
In some races, the group chose more than one candidate.
Among the notable selections was that of Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard in the Democratic primary for the 2nd Congressional District.
Gabbard, whose father Sen. Mike Gabbard was a strong opponent of the civil unions bill passed last year, was once similarly opposed to the concept. She has since changed her stance and now supports civil unions as the only legal status for all couples.
In backing Tulsi Gabbard, EHAF applauded her “evolution” on the issue:
“We applaud Gabbard’s evolution on issues of equality in our state – this is an evolution that many have had over the past decade, and one which many will continue to have in the months and years to come. We believe in Gabbard’s commitment to our community, and to helping heal and move our state forward on issues of marriage equality.”
The complete list of endorsements:
1st Congressional District (urban Oahu):
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa
2nd Congressional District (rural Oahu, neighbor islands):
Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard
Former Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chief Advocate Esther Kia’aina
U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono
Former Congressman Ed Case