Letters to the Editor
Wednesday, December 11, 1996

Victims have no rights
in crime-crazy Hawaii

The recent decision of a Hawaii jury to vindicate the North Shore beating criminals of more serious violations proves, once again, that there is no justice.

This is yet another example of how our justice system does not adequately protect the rights of innocent victims.

In my family and my community, this grave decision instills anger and fear associated with our safety on Oahu.

Doug Jeffs

It was a fair campaign,
not a fear campaign

L. David Van Broekhulzen's letter (Dec. 4) alleges that I and other candidates for office "profited and participated in (a) fear campaign" against our opponents on the issue of same-sex marriage. If a candidate's votes, floor speeches, media quotes and other matters of public record now constitute the ingredients of a fear campaign, then how exactly does Van Broekhulzen propose that the public judges its candidates for public office?

I informed 25th District constituents of my opponent's stands on same-sex marriage (and other issues) using her own words and votes from the Daily Journal of the House of Representatives, and from public speeches. These are very legitimate resources for information, considering that they are a matter of public record. My record is also available for scrutiny, and it spans my experience in elective office.

Fortunately, in spite of the politically correct elite like Van Broekhulzen, open debate and public discourse still drive our democratic electoral process. And that is a process in which everyone should be allowed to participate.

Sen. Whitney T. Anderson
Senate Minority Leader

Prosecuting attorney has
exemplary staffer in Grean

I am totally surprised to learn that the prosecuting attorney's office has a person like Lawrence Grean on its staff (Nov. 22, View Point). His "get-tough" measures seem to have been taken right out of the National Rifle Association's platform on crime control.

Now the question is: Why is the prosecuting attorney's office doing so badly in getting meaningful convictions with someone like Mr. Grean on its staff?

Perhaps Lawrence Grean should have run for prosecuting attorney instead of Peter Carlisle.

Debbie Okamura

Rabies will threaten islands
if standards are lowered

My heart is saddened because I fear the tight anti-rabies quarantine rules, which have provided all of Hawaii its rabies-free status, are about to be altered.

At a recent public hearing on the proposed rules change, I left with a feeling of impotence to influence the process. I sense change is imminent, and the meeting was simply being held to fulfill legal requirements. Important and substantive information essential to understanding the subject by a prominent national veterinarian was not allowed because of time.

Why is it that 99 percent of Hawaii's population - who are not affected by the Animal Quarantine Station - are so complacent about a matter that can so alter our ecology, environment and lifestyles dramatically?

I believe it is a result of a failure to separate the emotion and the science of the debate.

Nicholas E. Palumbo, DVM
Emeritus Professor
John A. Burns School of Medicine
University of Hawaii-Manoa

Same-sex ruling
draws praise, scorn

Public should fear bigotry,
not same-gender marriage

Judge Chang's decision is an important step toward civil rights, but gays and lesbians are not quite there yet. Very soon, Hawaii's anti-gay groups, now plentiful and well financed, will be virulently attacking gay and lesbian people through their expanding campaign of fear.

I am hopeful, however, that their attacks will ultimately backfire.

Judge Chang's ruling has generated a great deal of discussion, debate and education. Ultimately, this education will help to reveal the truth about gay and lesbian families.

The public is learning that it is bigotry and intolerance they should fear, not same-gender marriage.

Kolone Scanlan

Being loved and committed
is basis for true marriage

Marriage is an important right of passage in our society. It represents a maturity as one leaves his or her family of origin and forges a new family.

Gay and lesbian couples live together and commit their lives to each other. But they lack the legal right to be each other's sole support, to make medical decisions for each other, to be legally connected parents for their children and to be each others' beneficiaries without facing legal challenges.

This issue, however, goes far beyond legal rights and responsibilities. Same-sex marriage is also about building a bridge of understanding between gay and lesbian people and the rest of society, for who among us does not understand when two people say they are married?

We urge all married people to consider what life would be like if your spouse were a legal stranger to you, and your relationship deemed unworthy of legal recognition.

Megan Kresch and Sacha Davis
Seattle, Wash.

God will heap punishment
on gay marriage supporters

Same-sex marriage is God's business. He instituted the sanctity of marriage between a male and female, period. The liberal Democratic Party with its appointed judges just doesn't get it.

They can call it a civil-rights issue, discrimination, or want to propose a domestic partnership bill. It is still same-sex marriage, a chosen lifestyle.

Here is what Jesus Christ said: "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matthew 12:36-37)

Those who are attempting to change God's sanctity of marriage will have to answer to him on Judgment Day.

Melvin Partido
Pearl City

Traditional marriage
is the norm and the rule

Ignorance of the law is no excuse. This includes some judges and also a few legislators. Nature's law is that only a man and a woman can produce children - not a man and a man, or a woman and a woman.

Beside, we already have a state Board of Health regulation that says a license will be issued only to a man and a woman. This law has been in effect for decades.

Why is the minority infringing on the majority? In a democratic society, the majority rules.

If same-sex couples want to have relationships, that's their business and lifestyle. But they should not impose it on the rest of the public.

Furthermore, the correct terminology is same-sex union, not marriage. Marriage is only between a man and a woman, according to the dictionaries.

Robert Oshiro

Opponents of gay marriage
show ignorance of law

The people who are complaining that judges are too often overruling the will of the voters need to go back to school. They don't seem to understand how our American system of government works.

Thank God we have a judicial system that will protect the rights of the minorities, no matter how many in the majority may vote to take away those rights.

Politicians often knowingly ignore constitutional law to capitalize on the latest hot-button political issue for their short-term political gain.

Thankfully we have checks and balances built into our system of law, and courts to step in to prevent the majority from trampling the rights of the minority.

The courts are doing exactly what they were designed to do. It makes me sleep better at night.

Alan L. Light
Iowa City, Iowa

Judge Chang’s wise verdict
is far from surprising

Anyone who paid attention to the "expert witnesses" in Hawaii's same-sex marriage case should not be surprised by Judge Chang's ruling that same-gender couples merit civil marriage rights.

In fact, they should applaud him. No state has a compelling interest in prohibiting marriage based on gender.

That 83 percent of our senators voted to deny rights to a segment of our population via the Defense of Marriage Act is the outrage, not Judge Chang's ruling. Homophobia is alive and thriving on Capital Hill.

I don't know why a majority of Americans, at various times, have viewed women, ethnic minorities and gay people as second-class citizens.

I do know that it is ultimately the judiciary that must uphold our Constitution - which has no room for "I'm better than you," "majority rules" and "but the Bible says" rhetoric.

Todd K. Jennings
Greenwich, Conn.

Greed is motivating factor
of gay marriage movement

As I have watched the same-sex marriage issue unfold in Hawaii, I have determined that this issue is largely about greed. The tourist industry and other commercial interests are looking forward to the money if Hawaii were to suddenly become the homosexual marriage mecca of America.

Making Hawaii the Sodom and Gomorrah of the Pacific certainly won't win any points from mainstream Americans and foreign guests who have been supporting the island economy for many years.

In fact, it will make Hawaii, as a travel destination, about as desirable as south-central Los Angeles during the riots.

The AIDS epidemic is a problem in Hawaii as it is elsewhere. But after thousands of homosexuals, some of them undoubtedly infected with the virus, converge on your state, the health crisis will undoubtedly magnify.

Hawaii doesn't deserve this scourge. I hope your attorney general prevails.

Jeff Strailey
Tehachapi, Calif.

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