March 31, 1996

The Pressure Keeps Rising

Friday, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Honolulu, Rev. DiLorenzo, put his prestige on the line. From the steps of the Capitol he held a press conference on the theme "Let the People Decide". This is the slogan of Hawaii's Future Today, to persuade senators to approve a constitutional amendment banning same gender marriage (which would then go on the November ballot for a final vote by the public).

Frank Padgett, a former justice of Hawaii's Supreme Court, appeared with Bishop DiLorenzo, offering his own legal gloss that it was what constitutional amendment procedures were for, discriminating against minorities.

Father Mark Alexander, Diocesan theologian and lobbyist on marriage, orchestrated the affair and got his sound-bite on the six o'clock news (along with Padgett's and DiLorenzo's): you guessed it, "Let the People Decide." 

Hawaii's Future Today freely quotes a recent poll that 71% of Hawaii's people oppose same-gender marriage. However, when asked about a constitutional amendment to ban same-gender marriage, the most recent poll shows 51% in favor and 42% opposed.

Pickets stretched out along the roads in Senator Brian Kanno's district, calling up constituents to ask Senator Kanno to oppose same-gender marriage. [Senator Kanno voted for a domestic partnership proposal this session.]

Tom Coleman, gay activist of Los Angeles' Spectrum Institute, sent to all legislators copies of the Colorado governor's position favoring domestic partnerships WHILE opposing same-gender marriage. A Hawaii follower of Coleman has been lobbying the legislature daily for BOTH
a domestic partnership bill and a constitutional ban on same-gender marriage, handing out to legislators sections of Coleman's testimony to Hawaii legislators (testimony which encourages fear of marriage, using words such as "conflict", "chaos" and "confrontation" to describe future relations
between Hawaii and the other 49 states as well as the federal government).

Linda Rosehill, lobbyist for Hawaii's Future Today, and the state teacher's union (HSTA) terminated her lobbying contract for HSTA by mutual consent. This week, HSTA's annual convention passed a resolution opposing any efforts to restrict anyone's civil rights.

HERMP is holding its own, still. There are four weeks left to the legislative session.

Best Regards,

Tom Ramsey
HERMP Co-Coordinator

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:

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