January 27th, 2013

Gay Democrats are again pressuring state Sen. Mike Gabbard over his opposition to same-sex marriage.

In a statement on Sunday, the party’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender caucus said it was “extremely disappointed in the vigorous way in which Senator Gabbard is working at cross-purposes with the Democratic Party of Hawaii, the governor and the president regarding marriage equality.”

Gabbard (D, Kapolei-Makakilo) has introduced a bill that would put the issue before voters as a constitutional amendment in 2014.

While there are many Democrats at the Legislature who oppose same-sex marriage, activists have sought to hold Gabbard accountable for his opinion. Gabbard was one of the leaders of the movement against gay marriage in the 1990s.

The Democratic Party of Hawaii’s state central committee upheld a reprimand against Gabbard in 2009 for actively opposing a civil unions bill, undermining the party’s platform in favor of equality and civil rights.

“We hoped that the reprimand Senator Gabbard received from both the Oahu County Committee and the Democratic Party of Hawaii would have made Senator Gabbard realize that he cannot work against the party platform,” Eileen McKee, caucus representative to the state central committee, said in a statement.

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