With rallies across the United States happening simultaneously a few Saturdays ago, the rally in Hawaii came early, at 8:30 AM, on the grounds of Honolulu’s city hall.
As the crowd began gathering, maybe a hundred strong at the time, police came by to check on the situation, deemed it non-problematic, and then left. Within an hour the crowd grew to approximately 400 LGBT people, their allies and kids.
The rally remained peaceful for its two-hour duration as the crowd waved flags and handmade signs at passing cars, eliciting many honking horns in support. Washington, DC transplant Thomas Larabee, a computer consultant working in Honolulu, saw the need to participate in Saturday's national movement and an opportunity for Hawaiians to come together. Thomas put the rally together online. Though he's not engaged in advocacy work in Hawaii, he's someone who wants to see people get involved in the fight for marriage equality.
Charles Robbins, the Executive Director of The Trevor Project and I were married in Palm Springs, California, Nov. 2, just two days before the election. We were on the island of Oahu for our honeymoon and it was heartening to be among supporters lining the downtown streets protesting not only California's discriminatory Prop. 8, but also the lack of marriage equality in Hawaii.
Throughout the rally, members of Hawaii’s Family Equality Coalition worked the crowd to get contact info and email addresses, and the citizens of Hawaii seem ready and poised to be engaged. Hopefully, local leaders like Larabee will emerge who can mobilize a new generation ready to fight for equal treatment under the law.