Equality Hawaii was a statewide political advocacy organization in Hawaii that advocated for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, including same-sex marriage.

Equality Hawaii
FoundedNovember 16, 2007 (2007-11-16)
Area served
Formerly called
Family Equality Coalition, Family Equality Foundation
Equality Hawaii at Honolulu Pride Parade in June 2012
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender rights in Hawaii

Baehr v. Lewin (1993)
Baehr v. Miike (1996, 1999)
Constitutional Amendment 2 (1998)
House Bill 444 (2009)
Senate Bill 232 (2011)
Hawaii Marriage Equality Act (2013)

Equality Hawaii

LGBT rights in the United States
Same-sex marriage in Hawaii
Reciprocal beneficiary relationships in Hawaii
LGBT history in Hawaii

LGBT Portal



Equality Hawaii was founded as Family Equality Coalition on November 16, 2007, as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation. It was founded based on community and expert input at the organization's first meeting in September 2007 after a civil unions bill was attempted in February 2007. The organization made an early commitment to advocating for same-sex marriage in Hawaii. The first general membership meeting was held in partnership with UNITE HERE Local 5 and featured Cleve Jones. In 2010, the board elected to change its name to Equality Hawaii to reflect its scope expanding beyond just same-sex marriage.[1]

Originally named Family Equality Foundation, Equality Hawaii Foundation (EHF) was founded on October 27, 2009, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. While its 501(c)(3) application was being approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the organization was fiscally sponsored by the Equality Federation Institute. This allowed the organization to immediately pursue grant funding. The organization received its official designation from the IRS on June 5, 2011.[2]

Equality Hawaii Action Fund was founded August 13, 2010, as a 527 organization. It was formed in response to Governor of Hawaii Linda Lingle vetoing a 2010 civil unions bill; opponents of legal recognition of same-sex relationships had made public pledges to remove from office any legislators who supported civil unions; and Gubernatorial candidates Mufi Hannemann and Duke Aiona were promising to not only veto any future civil unions legislation, but put the issue on the ballot.[3]

Equality Hawaii was a founding member and fiscal agent of Hawaii United for Marriage, a coalition of organizations that advocated for the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act, which was signed into law on November 13, 2013, by Governor Neil Abercrombie, and same-sex couples began marrying on December 2, 2013.[4][5][6][7]

From 2013 to 2016, Equality Hawaii worked to pass key legislation to empower and protect Hawaii's LGBTQ community, enabling transgender people to change the gender identity maker on official documents and preventing health insurers from discriminating against them. In 2016 Equality Hawaii formed a strategic alliance to share networks and resources with the Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation, an organization dedicated to unifying, facilitating and empowering Hawaii's LGBTQ community.[8]

Equality Hawaii ceased operations in January 2017.



Equality Hawaii is often used to describe three separate organizations:[9]



Equality Hawaii activities and programs included:[10]

  • Hawaii Family Portraits
  • Community education
  • Media relations
  • Community outreach
  • Legislative lobbying
  • Voter outreach

See also



  1. ^ "Our History". Equality Hawaii. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  2. ^ "Our History". Equality Hawaii Foundation. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  3. ^ "Our History". Equality Hawaii Action Fund. Archived from the original on June 20, 2021. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  4. ^ "Abercrombie signs same-sex marriage bill into law". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. November 13, 2013. Archived from the original on November 15, 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
  5. ^ "First same-sex couples marry in Hawaii". Advocate.com. December 2, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  6. ^ Pignataro, Anthony (May 16, 2014). "Equality Hawaii Foundation: 1,417 Same-Sex Couples Married In Hawaii In Last Six Months". MauiTime News. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "Equality Hawaii Endorses Takai for Congress". Civil Beat. April 11, 2014. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  8. ^ "Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation – Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation". hawaiilgbtlegacyfoundation.com. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  9. ^ "What's The Difference?". Equality Hawaii. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  10. ^ "About Us". Equality Hawaii. Archived from the original on July 27, 2014. Retrieved July 4, 2014.