It’s not something you see everyday in one place: ads for men seeking men, a bare-chested young man in his underwear — and a photograph of Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

Yet, that is exactly the case on a blog called JoeMyGod this week, not long after the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office announced the state’s response to a lawsuit from a lesbian couple alleging marriage discrimination.

Here at home, some of us were scratching our heads trying to figure out how our governor could agree that the state’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional but allow his health director to “vigorously” defend the state. Indeed, the AG has assigned separate teams of attorneys to the case.

Abercrombie’s stance played differently elsewhere, however, notably on gay websites. Many focused far more on Abercrombie’s position than Loretta Fuddy’s.

The headline for JoeMyGod’s article made a statement: “Neil Abercrombie Refuses To Defend Suit To Overturn Marriage Ban.”

Similar headlines cropped up on leading GLBT sites like The Advocate, e.g., “Hawaii Gov. Won’t Defend State’s Gay Marriage Ban.”

The article was spread through Twitter by many, including @PrideHunters and @LivingLGBT. “Mahalo, Gov. Abercrombie!” wrote @djdeedle in a re-tweet of the Advocate item.

Other Twitter sites, like @gaynewsnet (with 4,340 followers) passed along a Courthouse News Service article headlined “Governor Gives Up in Gay Marriage Case.”

Not surprisingly, Hawaii’s response to the same-sex lawsuit (Jackson v. Abercrombie) made it onto other social media, like Facebook.

It included the governor’s own Facebook page. On Friday, his most recent wall post (or whomever posted it for him; Abercrombie does not use computers) was a link to the AG’s press release.

Just one hour after that post was made, it received a “Like” from a Facebook user named Matthew John:

Thank you for posting this Governor — allows people to educate themselves on the issue! Equality WILL prevail — gay rights ARE civil rights — spread love!

Shout-outs for the Gov

Judging by comment sections accompanying many of the articles on Abercrombie’s stance, there’s a lot of love out there for the gov.

Comments for an article posted in OnTopMag include the following:

Well done Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie – do not get pushed about by bigots!

I can see the ripple effect, governors refusing to defend a law that was passed to discriminate…excellent. Even putting it in the HI Constitution didn’t prevent this lawsuit from happening.

Glad they OUSTED Linda Lingle!

The JoeMyGod article, meanwhile, features these comments:

Neil Abercrombie has always been what I define as “fierce advocate.” He’s not just a champion on LGBT issues but even while in Congress he was one of the fiercest fighters against the thugocrats of the GOP.  
Wish we had more politicians like him.

Comments for The Advocate article include glowing praise — “Just another reason to visit this beautiful State!” — but also far more critical views:

That was the Oath of Office that Papa Smurf put his hand on the Bible and swore as he took office. Did he have his fingers crossed? If same sex marriage is listed as unconstitutional by the State of Hawaii, he has no option but to enforce that law. Anything else is a violation of his Oath (not that his word means anything) and is an impeachable offense.

Meantime, at SF Weekly’s blog, one reader offered a harsh assessment:

Actually Neil your job and that of your attorney general is to uphold the laws of the state you swore to defend when you took office. This is a really dangerous precedent… I personally support gay marriage but It has to be done correctly otherwise if a Governor can choose ignore this law the next Governor can ignore another.  and then where are we? in a Monarchy!

It’s clear others remain angry that most gays don’t enjoy the same rights as straights.

An article titled “Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie Refuses to Defend Hawaii’s Unjust Ban on Gay Marriage in Court” — it’s posted on a site called Towleroad, self-billed as “a site with homosexual tendencies” — has this comment:

For anyone who thinks that the lesbians and homosexuals getting married is a bad thing; get your heads out of your asses already. Their marriage won’t be a sign of a decaying society, won’t be the first step towards legalizing polygamy everywhere, and certainly won’t infringe on anything YOU already have.

Lastly, here at home, Big Island blogger Andrew Walden, a political conservative, spun Abercrombie’s position differently, as clear from the article’s headline: “Abercrombie: I will not defend Marriage.”

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