Asian American’s have engaged on the issue of sexuality. It started with the same sex marriage ordeal in Hawaii in the 1990’s. Same sex marriage has been a regular ongoing debate and Asian American became involved since the 1998 ballot in Hawaii. In Hawaii there was huge debate between many groups. First off, The Japanese American Citizens League in 1994 decided to affirm its commitment to support the basic human right of marriage which included the right to marry for same-sex couples.
In Helen Zia’s book Asian American Dreams, JACL were concerned about protecting civil and constitutional rights, whereas the general populace of Hawaii was not. This was the first national civil rights membership organization to publicly and actively adopt this position, and has continue to be the forefront for advocating same sex marriage. The JACL tried to frame this as a political issue rather than a moral issue. Discrimination was the big factor of this.
They linked the idea of same-sex arriage to internment camps and the redress movement (Barney Frank). The moral issue of this was that people says that same sex marriage is against religious belief but the US Amendment says that religion and state are separate so that this should not be a factor. This lead to the ballet initiative 2 in 1998 in Hawaii. “Amendment to ban same sex marriage. ” The yes vote was “no to gay marriage” and the no vote was “yes to gay marriage. ” (Which made it a little confusing). A bunch of interest group played a big role in this.
The movement to legalize same sex marriage failed in Hawaii because of how much the impacts of special interest groups. First off, JACL interest group voted no based on discrimination. The Japanese in Hawaii voted no as a block. Native Americans voted Yes on this ballet because they believed it would affect tourism and threaten sovereignty. The Gay/Lesbian voted no obviously base on their self interest discrimination. The Religious group voted yes on this because marriage in their religion is said to be a man and a women.
And last, the land developers voted yes for their own self interest for real estate reason. The outcome of this was Yes 70% and No 30%. The gap in this was huge because of many reasons. The lobbing money of the Yes group helped. The moral vs the political debate played a huge role and the moral framing won because of the same sex was looked at as “inappropriate”. Morally, those groups Just believed man-women was what marriage is even though they do not seem themselves Just discriminating in another way.
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