HONOLULU (KHON2) — As a handful of states in the U.S. move to institutionalize hate and oppression, Hawai’i, which is actively bucking the trend, is set to become one of the most proactively supportive states for LGBTQ2+ citizens.

The Stonewall Caucus announced today that its work with the Hawai’i Legislature has produced more pro-LGBTQIA+ bills than in any other single year in the the state of Hawai’i’s history. This was as of Jan. 25.

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On Friday, Feb. 3, the Senate’s Committee on Judiciary announced more pro-LGBTQ2+ that will be heard on Thursday, Feb. 9. The committee is chaired by Sen. Karl Rhoads.

“The Stonewall Caucus is extremely excited for the direction that the 2023 Legislative session is headed. From the number and diversity of the pro-LGBTQIA+ bills to the fact some of them have already received a hearing, we are hopefully optimistic for a historic outcome from this legislative session.” said Michael Golojuch, Jr. chair of the Stonewall Caucus.

SB 109 – This bill replaces gender-specific terminology used in adoption and divorce matters with gender-neutral terminology.

SB 110 – Is a bill that requires gender-specific terminology used in adoption and divorce matters to be construed in a gender-neutral manner.

SB 130 – This bill allows state courts discretion not to enforce a child custody determination of a foreign country if the law of the foreign country imposes capital punishment for apostasy, religious or political beliefs, or homosexuality, and a parent or child demonstrates risk of being subject to the law. The bill defines “apostasy”. The definition for apostasy in general terms is when a person departs from the religion, principles, party, cause, etc… that they once held.

SB 944 – This bill extends and modifies the task force established to recommend amendments to update existing parentage laws that reflect outdated, cis-heteronormative concepts of families, parenthood and parental rights to Dec. 31, 2024. The definition of cis-heteronormative in general terms is a person who embraces typical binary tropes for identity purposes.

“I have been advocating for justice for over 20 years at the Hawai‘i State Capitol, and I have never seen a session like this. I have already had the privilege of testifying in favor of so many bills that will help bring justice and equality to Hawai‘i’s LGBTQIA+ community,” explained Golojuch, Jr.

“We don’t take any of these bills or hearings for granted and are grateful for all the support our issues have been receiving. We know that one of the reasons for this increase of pro-LGBTQIA+ bills in due in part to Rep. Adrian Tam & Sen. Chris Lee when they lead the way in creating the Equality Caucus in 2022,” added Golojuch, Jr.

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According to the Stonewall Caucus, Hawai’i is purposefully standing in the gap to protect some of society’s most vulnerable populations. With outright attacks on transgender and non-binary communities on the mainland, Hawai’i State seeks to protect all of its citizens.