There are alternatives to redefining the meaning of marriage to give gay unions the benefits wanted recognized by the union without destroying the sanctity of marriage.
Redefining marriage would have implications far beyond the relationship of this couple or that couple. There will be long-term definitive changes in our entire society and divisive unintended consequences.
Legislators who support redefining marriage take the easy route to pander to a smaller but very loud contingency.
The proper way to do this is to elevate civil unions to have the similar benefits to marriage without touching the definition of marriage. However, then you would have to open the debate on myriad benefits and tax losses to government and get consensus on what is appropriate. A much harder battle that no one wants to fight. The politicians want to quickly quiet this group without fanfare and gloss over the unintended consequences.
For politicians it is easy to change the definition of marriage. After they have redefined marriage, they can say, "I am blameless for the destruction of our societal values (as we know them) and decimation of humanity. All I did was give gay couples their rights."
Changing the definition of marriage should be a decision of all in Hawaii and not the powerful coalitions that support this while maintaining their grip on our state legislators.
The marriage challenge presented to all Americans is not easily resolved. Agreeable alternatives need to be pursued and decisions should not be made hastily.