Hawaii Lawmakers Override Veto
Associated Press, July 12, 2001
HONOLULUThe Legislature raised Hawaiis age of sexual consent
from 14 to 16, overriding a governors veto for the first time since Hawaii
became a state.
The nearly unanimous vote Tuesday ended Hawaiis distinction of having
the nations lowest age of consent.
Democratic Gov. Ben Cayetano accused lawmakers of being "politically
correct" to protect their re-election bids. He said the bill was poorly
written and would allow some of the toughest penalties in the nation on
consensual sex acts involving young peopleup to 20 years in prison.
Sen. Les Ihara, who cast the only vote against overriding the governors
veto, said the punishment was the same as for rape. "I believe the
punishment does not fit the crime," he said.
The bill exempts married couples and sexual encounters involving a minor
between 14 and 16 and a person less than five years older.
The law expires in 2003, with a provision for a task force to study the
issue of sexual consent and report to lawmakers in 2003.
On the Net:
Hawaii Legislature: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/
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