WASHINGTON — Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann is in the minority of 2nd Congressional District candidates when it comes to his views on same-sex marriage.

While most of the candidates in that race told Civil Beat that they believe same-sex marriage should be legal, Hannemann says that “marriage is between a man and a woman.”

As a Democrat, Hannemann likely realizes how divisive his stance may be among some voters in his party. In Hannemann’s recent response to a Civil Beat survey, he made sure to point out that he’s not the only Democrat who doesn’t support same-sex marriage.

“I do not support same-sex marriage as I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Hannemann said. “President Obama shares the same viewpoint.”

Do Hannemann and Obama really agree on same-sex marriage?

In 2008, as he was running for president, Obama said he would support “a civil union that provides all the benefits that are available for a legally sanctioned marriage.”

As Hannemann was running for Hawaii governor in 2010, he was still opposed to the civil unions because they were “tantamount to marriage,” according to an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. But now Hannemann tells Civil Beat that he supports civil unions, which became legal for same-sex couples in Hawaii on Jan. 1.

As for the commander in chief, he says his views on same-sex marriage are “evolving,” but he also hasn’t said he supports same-sex marriage.

“I’m still working on it,” Obama told ABC news in October.

At the same time, Obama’s administration has taken action that suggests that the president has already made up his mind. In a major reversal last year, Obama declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and said it should be struck down. (Hannemann has not responded to an email inquiry over the holiday weekend about whether he supports the act.)

Critics argue that Obama has opted for political expediency in his views on same-sex marriage. For example, he said he supported same-sex marriage when he was running for Illinois Senate in 1996, according to The New York Times.

Earlier this month, Obama sent a letter to a Brooklyn couple — among the first gay couples who were legally married in New York — to wish them “love, laughter, and happiness.”

While plenty of political trackers argue that Obama could come out in support of same-sex marriage before the 2012 election, it hasn’t happened yet.

Bottom line: Both Obama and Hannemann say they support same-sex civil unions. Hannemann said he is opposed to same-sex marriage, and Obama has not expressly stated support for same-sex marriage. Therefore, it’s fair for Hannemann to say that the president “shares the same viewpoint,” but it’s also important to point out that Obama’s stance on same-sex marriage appears to be more nuanced than Hannemann’s. Remember, in 1996, he said he was in favor of same-sex marriage.

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