Pro-equality religious leaders in Hawaii take a stand for civil unions bill
March 25, 2009
After much work by pro-equality supporters to win the legal recognition of LGBT relationships in Hawaii, the Hawaii Senate is expected to vote today to end the Senate Judiciary Committee deadlock on the civil unions bill and bring the bill to the Senate floor. On Monday, a group of religious leaders met at the state capitol to declare their support for the civil unions bill. As Rev. Douglas Pyle, a Buddhist minister who took part in the news conference declared to HRC Western Regional Field Director Tony Wagner: “Religion is a powerful motivator in our lives that some have misused to divide us. We believe that our convictions and those of hundreds of thousands of Hawaii’s residents lead us to understanding, acceptance, love and social justice.” Armed with new poll numbers from QMark Research showing that 81% of Hawaiians support equal legal rights for committed relationships regardless of sexual orientation, the pro-equality religious leaders gathered to forcefully rebuff the claims made by conservative religious groups opposing the civil unions bill:
More than two dozen clergy members, including ministers, pastors and a retired Buddhist bishop, voiced their support for legislation allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into civil unions. "What we know is that civil unions, to the chagrin of those whose political or religious ideologies lead them to lobby against this legislation, are unquestionably pro-family, pro-faith and pro-children," said Rabbi Peter Schaktman of Temple Emanu-El. "Real religious leaders do not seek to have the government impose their vision of how the world should be. And please, do not use religion as a weapon to reinforce bigotry and diminish democracy." ...Deacon Pat Hendrickson, a lesbian who attended [Monday's] rally with her partner who is a priest, said civil union legislation will not silence pastors in their churches or force them to perform ceremonies. "The issue we're addressing today is one of civil and human rights and equal protection under the law for all people," Hendrickson said.
Watch local station KHON 2 video coverage of the ministers' news conference:
May 22, 2013
Issues: Religion & Faith
May 2, 2013