Hawaii

Find Your State

Know the laws in your state that protect LBGT people and people living with HIV.
YES
Does state law protect employees in the private sector from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?
YES
Does state law protect employees in the private sector from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or gender expression?
YES
Does state law expressly protect employees of state and local governments from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?
YES
Does state law expressly protect employees of state and local governments from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or gender expression?

All government employees are protected by the U.S. Constitution against irrational discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, some measure of protection already exists under Title VII based on gender, which has been held to include gender identity and expression.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and several courts have interpreted Title VII to protect LGBT employees. Lambda Legal maintains that the EEOC adjudications regarding Title VII’s coverage should supersede contrary authority that exists in some federal circuits.

HIV & Healthcare

OpenClose
Does this state have an HIV criminalization law?

NO, Hawaii does not have a criminal statute that punishes people with an HIV diagnosis specifically for nondisclosure of HIV status prior to sexual conduct; however, all states have general criminal laws—such as reckless endangerment and assault laws—under which it is possible to prosecute an HIV-positive person for nondisclosure of HIV status prior to sexual conduct.

Has there been at least one HIV-based criminal prosecution—brought under an HIV-specific criminal law or a general criminal law—in this state in recent years?

NO, there has not been a criminal prosecution in recent years of which Lambda Legal is aware; however, that does not mean that will not be one in the future.

Does this state have laws that criminalize or enhance the penalties for biting, spitting and/or throwing bodily fluids or substances (such as urine or excrement) if a person has been diagnosed with HIV?

NO, Hawaii does not have laws that criminalize or enhance penalties for biting, spitting and/or throwing bodily fluids or substances (such as urine or excrement) if a person has been diagnosed with HIV, but that does not mean the state could not prosecute a person engaged in such activities under general criminal laws or argue for sentence enhancements based on the person’s HIV diagnosis.

Does this state have criminal laws addressing HIV+ sex workers and/or HIV+ patrons of sex workers?

NO, Hawaii does not have laws that enhance penalties for HIV-positive people involved in commercial sexual transactions, but that does not mean that a prosecutor could not argue for an enhanced sentence in such a situation based on the defendant’s HIV-positive status, if the prosecutor has access to that information, or attempt to bring separate charges under an HIV-specific nondisclosure statute or the general criminal laws.

NO
Does the state explicitly ban transgender exclusions in health insurance?
YES
Does the state have laws that may be used to fight against health care discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity?
Who may adopt?

Any adult or married persons and those in a civil union petitioning jointly. See Hawaii Revised Statutes § 578-1.

Second-parent adoptions:

Granted by many judges, but not yet affirmed in appellate case law or confirmed in statute.

Public Accommodations

OpenClose
YES
Public accommodations protections on the basis of sexual orientation?
YES
Public accommodations protections on the basis of gender identity?

Relationships

OpenClose
YES
Does the state allow same-sex couples to marry?

Yes. Read our FAQ.

YES
Does the state recognize marriages of same-sex couples from other jurisdictions?
YES
Does the state offer any other type of relationship recognition for same-sex couples?

Yes, civil unions.

YES
Does state law prohibit bullying in public schools?
YES
Does the law include cyberbullying?
YES
Does the law specifically mention sexual orientation?
YES
Does the law specifically mention gender identity?
NO
Does the law also apply to private, non-religious schools?
YES
Is there a state antidiscrimination law that applies (or may apply) to schools?

Although Hawaii passed anti-bullying legislation in November 2011, the legislation will not take effect until July 1, 2030. Therefore, it does not currently appear in the Hawaii Revised Statutes.  Hawaii H.B. No. 688 (2011)