Republican Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou won Saturday’s special congressional election in Hawaii. Djou is the "least gay-friendly of the three leading candidates" who hoped to replace Democrat Neil Abercrombie, the strong LGBT rights ally who left Congress to run for governor, reports The Advocate.
"In fact, Djou was the only candidate to come out against the state’s civil unions bill, which is currently awaiting a decision from Governor Linda Lingle. He issued a statement saying that one of his Democratic rivals, state senate president Colleen Hanabusa, had 'blatantly ignored the will' of Hawaii residents by supporting civil unions. “Hawaii voters have spoken very clearly in support of traditional marriage,” he added, referring to a 1998 constitutional amendment that allowed legislators to ban marriage equality, which they did. Djou also supports the antigay Defense of Marriage Act, the Associated Press reports. He does support repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, saying that this experience as an Army Reserve captain led him to believe that the policy is ineffective and existing anti-fraternization rules will suffice."
Djou who became the first Republican in nearly 20 years to win a congressional seat from the Aloha State, has not stated a position on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Djou must face re-election in November and his two Democratic rivals—former Congressman Ed Case and Hawaii State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa—are already looking toward the September primary. "Democrats virtually conceded the Hawaii race earlier in the month," reports the Associated Press, after the White House and Congressional leadership "failed to persuade" either to withdraw to avoid splitting the vote.