One Equal World

Senator Inouye Dies at 88

Posted on: January 10, 2013

We recently marked the passing of one of the country’s biggest political advocates for LGBT rights: Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye. He represented Hawaii from the time it first joined the union—1959—until his death. As a teenager, Inouye witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor, later petitioning the government to allow him to serve in the military despite being labeled an “enemy alien” (Inouye’s father was born in Japan). He lost an arm in the war and was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross that was later upgraded to a Medal of Honor.


After the war, Inouye returned back home and studied law. Hawaii became a state on August 21, 1959, and Inouye became a house representative on that same day. In 1963 he became a senator, only leaving the position in death—just shy of fifty years. He was 88, but fully intended to run for re-election in 2016 at the age of 92.


Daniel Inouye was both a Democrat and very supportive of LGBT rights. He fought against DOMA’s passage in 1996, endorsed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and urged the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He was truly an example of a senator fighting for his people, their rights, and a politician fighting for what’s right.


“LGBT Americans across this country especially honor his unequivocal support for full LGBT equality — most notably, his 1996 vote against the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, his support for marriage equality and his co-sponsorship of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and other pro-equality legislation,” Said Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign, in a statement.


“Senator Inouye was a trailblazing leader and he will remain in our memories for standing with his LGBT sisters and brothers from day one. We will miss him, and every American should be grateful to have been touched by the life of this remarkable man.”



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: