A New Law Is Signed … and Sealed With a Kiss.

This story has absolutely nothing to do with trains or travel, but is just too good not to pass along. It involves the recently elected governor of Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie, and Clayton Hee, a State Senator here who chairs the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. Both are very old friends of mine and of course they have been friends and colleagues for years.

Several days ago, at a formal ceremony, Neil signed into law a bill that makes Hawaii the seventh state to officially recognize civil unions between gay and lesbian couples. He used three pens for the signing and, as he was about to affix his signature to the official document, announced he was going to present one of the pens to Clayton Hee, who expedited getting the measure through his committee. Neil noted that the two of them go back a long way and he referred to Clayton as a “special friend” …

… whereupon Clayton leaned over a planted a kiss on top of Neil’s bald head. It provoked a huge laugh from the assembled crowd, of course, but was especially funny because Clayton is a good looking, very macho Chinese-Hawaiian — he owns horses and is a regular participant in horse events around the islands — and is happily married to a lovely former TV anchor lady.

Could something like this have happened in another state? I suppose so … but it was a wonderful example of the warm, relaxed, and very genuine feeling of aloha we have here. It’s unique to Hawaii, and we treasure it.