HONOLULU (AP) — Gov. David Ige on Thursday signed three bills supporting Hawaii’s LGBTQ community.

The legislation “will help us identify and address social and community issues more effectively and ensure that we can work to prevent discrimination in many areas of our society,” Ige said at a signing ceremony.

House Bill 2405 prohibits health insurers from excluding medically necessary gender affirming treatments from coverage. It also requires insurers to provide clear information about their coverage of gender transition services.

“This bill is key to protecting people from discrimination in accessing gender affirming treatment,” Ige said.

Senate Bill 2136 prohibits people from being excluded from juries because of their gender identity or expression.

“Our Constitution requires a jury of peers, and we believe that everyone in our community should be a participant in our system,” Ige said.

Senate Bill 2670 establishes a state commission on the status of LGBTQ people in Hawaii. The governor said the commission will play a critical role in coordinating programs and creating public awareness on behalf of the LGBTQ community.

The bill signings coincide with Pride Month, which is observed in every June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City. In the aftermath of Stonewall, the LGBTQ community coalesced, organized and became more visible.

Quality journalism takes time.

A story that takes fives minutes to read often takes days to report.
 
Quality journalism takes time and resources to produce, but with support from readers like you, Civil Beat can investigate issues and publish stories that are otherwise difficult to fund.
 
Become a donor and help support Civil Beat’s next investigation.

About the Author