Hawaii's Battle for Equality

Friday, September 24th, 2010

One of the most important goals for us in developing the NOH8 Campaign is using our visibility to help raise awareness in as many areas where LGBT people need support as possible. On July 6th, Governor Lingle of Hawaii vetoed a civil unions bill that would have granted equal marriage rights to same-sex couples.

"The bill would have given the same rights, benefits, protections and responsibilities of spouses in a marriage to partners in a civil union. All couples would have been allowed to enter into a civil union — a legal contract — provided they were 18 or older, not related and not already married."
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2002116,00.html#ixzz10PTYH7UN

When we heard this news, Team NOH8 immediately began planning a shoot in Hawaii for mid-August in order to be able to help raise awareness to register voters in time for the November elections. Every single vote counts, and it's so important for every single person who is eligible to vote to be registered. (Are YOU registered? Register for FREE online at RockTheVote.com!)

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The reason I posed was because I wanted to show the aloha spirit. When we're raised in Hawaii, a lot of us local kids are taught to respect one another - which is why when you come to the islands, you will see the diversity of our community and all of us share that aloha spirit with one another. A lot of people know that aloha is used as a "hello" and "goodbye." Aloha also refers to the term "love." With the aloha spirit we can show what NOH8 is all about. Nothing but love. I want to show that despite my being raised in a strict Catholic family I was still able to come out to my family and friends and everyone loved me for me. I am able to be myself and be proud that i'm bisexual. When I came out to my parents my dad told me, "Nothing will ever change the fact that I love you." NOH8 is very important to me, because I want to bring awareness that we're all the same and we shouldn't be hating one another. We're all human and we're all equal. NOH8 guys....JUST ALOHA! =) - Jenn L. (Honolulu, HI)






We had an incredible turnout and couldn't have been happier to be part of helping to register those voters. The community in Hawaii was so incredibly friendly and welcoming, and it was touching to see such a wide variety of islanders come out for the cause.

Surprisingly enough, we had a large presence of former and active servicemen and women in attendance. Honolulu is a massive military hub for those who are unaware, and we were fortunate enough to see many groups of military friends coming together to show their support for their comrades.

This has particular significance to us now, as it's the largest military turnout we've had and we're completing work on the photos during a time when Don't Ask Don't Tell is in the center of the news.
Arizona Senator John McCain, a former soldier himself, led the Republican Party in filibustering; preventing the repeal from even being voted on at all.

I am a US Navy Veteran; and to see a country that does not allow equal rights for all just makes me very sad. I thought I was in the military to "defend freedom and democracy..." and for me to be living in the country I fought for and there not be equal rights for all makes me wounder why I served in the first place. In the shoot I choose to where my culinary uniform because I am now a Master Chef in training. Just like in the kitchen where you combine many different ingredients to make one beautiful dish; so too should our country allow us to "combine" with one another to make one beautiful thing no matter how different we are or who we love. So in other words I am "Cooking up NOH8!".

-Joshua B. Moore
US Navy Honorable Discharge Veteran & Future Master Chef






A big MAHALO to Ka Restaurant and Aqua Hotels & Resorts who both graciously hosted the NOH8 Campaign while we were in town! Our trip to Hawaii would not have been possible without their help.


Interested in joining the campaign? The NOH8 Campaign has announced SEVERAL upcoming dates for OPEN shoots in LOS ANGELES, TEXAS A&M, and CHICAGO! Check out their EVENT pages for more details, and please feel free to RSVP on the Facebook events if you're planning to attend!




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