Lesbian appointed to Supreme Court in Hawaii as civil unions bill clears Senate committee

Gov. Neil Abercrombie
Gov. Neil Abercrombie

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie named lesbian judge Sabrina Shizue McKenna, 53, to the Hawaiian Supreme Court, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser. McKenna is senior judge of Oahu’s Family Court.

In a press release, Abercrombie said:

“This is the most important decision I have made in my career. This appointment sets the course for the state and its legal direction for the next several years. I am completely confident that Judge McKenna’s appointment will be something I’m proud of for the rest of my life.”

Abercrombie was elected in November and McKenna is his first judicial appointment.

Also in Hawaii, a civil union bill, similar to one vetoed by Hawaiian Gov. Linda Lingle last July, passed a Senate committee. Lingle vetoed the bill, calling it same-sex marriage by a different name. Lingle was a Republican. Abercrombie, a Democrat, said he would sign the bill.

Equality Hawaii would like to see the bill extended to address health, insurance and tax codes. The bill was schedule to go to the full Senate today for a reading today and a final action on Friday. A similar bill has not been introduced to the Hawaiian House yet.

The Advertiser reports that Gary Okino, an opponent of civil unions, ran against the bill’s main House sponsor and lost. He wins the asinine reason of the week to be against civil unions award: Okino said civil unions would “rob children of happiness.”

In its reporting of the appointment of McKenna to the bench, the Advertiser called her the first lesbian appointed to the Hawaiian Supreme Court. We’re not sure, but she may be the first open lesbian appointed to a Supreme Court in any state. Anyone know for sure? (For the record, despite the insinuations, no federal Supreme Court justice, whether actually lesbian or not, is openly lesbian. And Justice Souter is officially a bachelor, certainly not openly gay).

—  David Taffet

Attorney General Rob McKenna promotes ballot rehab effort for anti-gay candidates

Washington State’s Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna likes to portray himself as a moderate, as noted recently.  That false image was shattered when he endorsed numerous virulently anti-gay candidates in the 2010 elections.  

As if to reinforce the point that he is ardently anti-gay, on Friday Mr. McKenna posted an email (pictured right) asking supporters to do ballot rehab for two outspokenly anti-gay candidates Vincent Buys and Hans Zeiger.  Full email text is below the fold.

According to the radical-right 2010 Washington Voter Guide survey, Vincent Buys opposes domestic partnerships, opposes marriage equality and opposes a woman’s right to choose.

Hans Zeiger is even more extreme than Buys.  Besides opposing domestic partnerships, marriage equality and a woman’s right to choose, Zeiger called the National Education Association and the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network “terrorist organizations” and claimed that a Girl Scouts USA national convention “will be a gathering of radical feminists, lesbians, and cookie peddlers” and is “allied with the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood”.  In addition, Zeiger reportedly works for a radical right Christian organization dedicated in part to preventing lesbian and gay couples from marrying.

As of Friday, Vince Buys was only 150 votes ahead of pro-equality incumbent Rep. Kelli Linville, and Hans Zeiger was only 40 votes ahead of pro-equality incumbent Rep. Dawn Morrell.  With a recount imminent, campaigns are doing “ballot rehab” described as taking “the list of ballots that have been rejected by…County Elections due to signature issues and identify friendly voters and then collect signed affidavits to ensure that each of those votes count”.

Pulling out all the stops to get anti-gay candidates like Buys and Zeiger elected is not something a moderate would do.  Once again Mr. McKenna’s actions speak volumes.

Related:

* Attorney General Rob McKenna’s moderate facade hides an anti-gay plotter

URGENT: Help get our candidates across the finish line THIS WEEKEND

Friends,

Election Day may be over, but we as Republicans are still fighting for every vote.

Please join myself and my team as we work with these campaigns on their ballot rehab efforts. Phone bankers, doorbellers, and drivers are needed THIS WEEKEND!

To assist the Steve Litzow campaign in the 41st, please call the KCGOP at 425.990.0404.

To assist Hans Zeiger in the 25th, Katrina Asay in the 30th, or Vincent Buys in the 42nd, contact Peter Graves at the WSRP: 425.460.0570.

Thanks very much for volunteering your time.

All the best,

Rob

Cross-posted at Washblog.
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—  admin