While Florida politicians craft laws to erase and stigmatize LGBT people, Hawaii is enacting legislation that does just the opposite.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed three bills that allow for insurance coverage in gender-affirming treatment, jury participation and establishes a state LGBTQ+ Commission.
“My hope is that we send a strong message across the nation that while some states are looking backward, Hawaii will continue to move forward,” said Representative Adrian Tam (D-Wakiki).
Tam, 29, is Hawaii’s lone gay state legislator. He won his election by defeating the leader of Hawaii’s Proud Boys chapter.
“That was fun,” he said.
Tam said the winning formula was to ignore the hate group’s tactics.
“The strategy was not to give them any attention,” Tam told SFGN in a telephone interview.
Tam co-chairs Hawaii’s LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus and is running for re-election this year. His campaign slogan is “people over politics” and Tam said the focus is bringing down the cost of living.
Meanwhile, Ige said the three new laws will “help us identify social and community issues more effectively and ensure we can work to prevent discrimination in many areas of our society.”
The bill signing coincided with the opening of a new exhibit at Honolulu’s Bishop Museum. The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu, Tam said, is the only gender-fluid monument in the world.