March 15, 1996

Joint Statement of Religious Leaders
Who Support Equality and Diversity
March 4, 1996

We are organizations and citizens who care about Hawai'i's traditions of tolerance, diversity, acceptance of different religions, cultures and lifestyles and commitment to equality. These fundamental values are cornerstones of our faiths and of our state and federal Constitutions.

We are here today to urge our legislative leaders to hold fast to local traditions as they deliberate. We urge them to reject the mean spirited rhetoric of Randall Terry of the Operation Rescue organization. While Mr. Terry has every right to his views, his concept of society conflicts with the cherished customs and cultures of Hawai'i. In his world, there is no equality or justice for the poor, minorities and women.

That is why a constitutional amendment to our State Constitution must be vigorously opposed. To tinker with the constitution puts all of us at risk. This would open the way for the erosion of hard-won liberties which currently protect women, religious freedom, Native Hawaiians, our right to privacy and equal protection.

We urge our leaders not to succumb to legislation based on tyranny by the majority. We must turn away from the kind of public will that, in the past, supported the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, segregation of African Americans, prohibition or inter-racial marriages and the denial of voting rights for minorities.

We call upon all people, groups and other religious leaders who believe in equality and justice to act now by contacting House and Senate members and urge them to vote against a constitutional amendment.

Endorsed by:
---Rev. Joan Ishibashi, Hawai'i Conference United Church of Christ
---Rev. Yoshiaki Fujitani, Retired minister Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii
---Rev. Dr. Wallace Ryan Kuroiwa, Nu'uanu Congregational Church
---Kahu Tyrone Reinhardt, Kaulanapueo Congregational Church
---Rev. Mike Young, the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu
---Rev. Dr. John T. Norris, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
---Rev. Fritz Fritschel, Lutheran Church of Honolulu
---Rev. Dr. Donald K. Johnson, Lutheran Church of Honolulu
---Rev. Dr. Richard Wallenta, Presbyterian
---Rev. Mari Gabrielson, Unity Church of Hawai'i
---Rev. Neal MacPherson, Church of the Crossroads
---Robert Aitken, Roshi (master) Honolulu Diamond Sangha (a Zen Buddhist society)
---Rev. Pam Vessels, Disciples of Christ
---Rev. Jory Watland, Lutheran pastor
---Rev. Dannette Kong Poole, ordained Southern Baptist minister
---Rev. Donar McNeice, Christ Memorial Episcopal Church
---The Right Reverend George N. Hunt, Interim Bishop (Episcopal) of Hawai'i

                Tom Ramsey
                Hawaii Equal Rights Marriage

Web sites for HERMP information:

For the official report of the Commission on Sexual Orientation and
the Law:

For legal documents related to Baehr v. Lewin (now Baehr v. Miike):
which has a link to marriage and Baehr v. Lewin

For national as well as Hawaii information:

The Hawaii Equal Rights Marriage Project, HERMP, is the sole support of the work of Dan Foley on Baehr v. Lewin (Foley is the attorney who makes all court appearances on behalf of the plaintiff couples). Please be generous in support of HERMP; Hawaii is a small state, and the tiny gay and lesbian community here is very active in advocacy work which HERMP cannot address.  Donations to HERMP are fully tax-deductible, and should be made out to
1521 Alexander Street, #503
Honolulu, HI 96822.

The HERMP branch in Kona, on the Big Island, has produced a T-shirt for sale. One can send a check for $17.50 to HERMP, P.O.Box 902, Captain Cook, HI 96704, together with a note about being sent a T-shirt (S, M, L, XL, XXL). It is also available in a tank top. The design is multi-color on white. A large triangle points down, with the letters h.e.r.m.p above the triangle, some male-male, female-female symbols in the border of the triangle and some palm trees. To place an email order for T-shirts, or to obtain more information, please email An image of the T-shirt is available via the WEB on

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