Letters to the Editor
Monday, December 16, 1996

Don’t rule out courts
for solving shore access

I have been an avid reader of Bud Smyser's columns, and although it is sometimes flattering to be mentioned in them, there is the risk of being misunderstood. As an example, Bud's Dec. 10 "customary rights" commentary indicated a perspective that I did not intend. The article implies I advocate a nonjudicial solution to Public Access Shoreline Hawaii (PASH) because of the composition of the Supreme Court. That is not my position.

Most, if not all, of the concerns voiced following the PASH decision are not intended to question the existence of native rights. Rather, it is the lack of definition of those rights and the resulting uncertainty that cause the concern.

As noted in my previous published articles, I have argued that PASH concerns can best be solved by the development of a comprehensive set of guidelines. In contrast, the courts, by their very nature, must deal with matters on a case-by-case basis; thus, it is difficult for them to address PASH concerns comprehensively.

Presently, the court is particularly gifted in its ability to identify social and cultural concerns. Since Justice Kidwell left the bench, however, few members of the court have had a similar business background or perspective. As such, another of the suggestions that I have made is that the court should contain perhaps two members who were selected for their business perspective and experience.

Solutions that also balance the community's economic needs can and have been crafted to solve social and cultural concerns.

Kenneth R. Kupchak
Damon Key Bocken Leong Kupchak

Why bother with Div. II?
Go all the way to bottom!

Thanks for the editorial recommending that University of Hawaii football drop to Division II ("UH football's future," Nov. 4). Pure genius - we'll never get beaten badly and we'll save soooo much money!

We can humiliate Ivy League, Northwest and Divinity colleges while playing at Cooke Field. There's great savings on coaches' salaries! Division II only uses a couple of them and they usually don't have families. We'll rent the new weight room out (everyone knows that Division II means minimal conditioning). No training table problem because Division II kids eat less. And travel expenses? It's a known fact that airlines, hotels and restaurants all offer the Division II discount!

But we've saved the best for last: no worry about losing the best of the local kids to mainland teams. They'll all go!

If we're gonna do this right, let's go all the way - Division III! Their travel doesn't require flying because the kids love long bus rides, and Matson can handle several buses at once.

Wait a minute: Why not consider NAIA football? I heard that they play barefoot; we'll save on cleats!

Ray Sweeney

Hawaii is a tough place
to make it in business

Last week marked the 10th anniversary of my move to Hawaii. My arrival was greeted with the great promise generated by the inauguration of our former government.

Most of that promise remains unfilled. My commemoration day was highlighted by giving blood and donating hair (getting a haircut). The lady who has been cutting my hair since the beginning, and who has been in business for 19 years, is closing her shop. She can no longer make it in Hawaii.

Over the past few days, we have witnessed a glorious beginning to the holiday season. Unfortunately for my barber and many more like her, these celebrations will be bittersweet.

As I look forward to the joy of the next few weeks, part of me is also filled with sadness.

Dick Morris

Jury’s verdict in case
of cop beating was just

The headline in your Dec. 7 issue, reporting the case of Rodney Balbirona and Darrell Ortiz ("Isle jury lenient in Chicago cop's beating"), was extremely misleading and unfairly critical of the verdict. Your Dec. 10 editorial was also critical and rationalizing. Both did a tremendous disservice to the jury.

No one from your staff was present in the courtroom during the entire trial. I should know; I was there. If someone had been, he or she would have:

Seen that the jury was selected by the court, the prosecution and the two defendants. No one party was afforded an advantage.

Heard James Boreczky testify that he was beaten for 15 seconds.

Heard Boreczky admit that he had his eyes closed during the incident and did not see what happened to him. One would also have heard Boreczky admit that he told police immediately after the incident that he had consumed six beers that night.

Heard the jurors instructed by the court that they had to "conscientiously and dispassionately consider and weigh all of the evidence and follow (the court's) instructions" to "reach a just verdict."

In an afternoon, the jury of 12 people unanimously agreed Rodney Balbirona and Darrell Ortiz did not commit the offense of robbery in the first degree. Instead of criticizing them, you should be saluting them for conscientiously and dispassionately listening to the evidence, following the law and not succumbing to public pressure.

Keith S. Shigetomi

Attorney for Rodney Balbirona

Thoughts stream in
about same-sex
marriage ruling

Do we want gay people
to flock to Hawaii?

I'm a proud Hawaiian male, married to a Hawaiian wahine. We have four keiki of our own.

I strongly disagree that we should allow same-sex marriage in Hawaii. The people of this state should vote on this matter, not leave the decision up to one man.

What will people from the mainland think about Hawaii, the gay state? Next thing you know, every gay couple in America and probably in the world will be coming here. And then what?

Andrew Nakoa

This is great, proud day
for equal rights in Hawaii

Heterosexuals like myself must come to realize that same-gender couples have not been seeking "special rights," but rather, equal rights.

Our state Constitution guarantees equal rights and equal protection for all. By not recognizing same-gender marriage, the state has created a "special-rights" situation for us heterosexuals. Allowing heterosexual-only marriage violates the guarantees set forth in the Constitution, and is an obvious and cruel example of the oppression of homosexuals.

Gay men and lesbian women should not allow the majority to limit their rightful desire for fair and equal treatment.

Congratulations to Judge Chang for ruling on the side of justice and in favor of the three same-gender couples.

Today is a great day for civil rights, because same-gender marriage certainly deserves fair and equal recognition.

Brent Purdue

Bible didn’t say marriage
involved one man, woman

Melvin Partido's livid rant (Letters, Dec. 12) shows the ignorance of some opponents of same-sex marriage.

The Bible did not institute marriage as between one man and one woman. David, Solomon, Jacob and others all practiced polygamy, with the explicit endorsement of the law of Moses.

I have a hard time believing God is angered by a couple's right to hospital visitation or to inherit property from each other.

It is laughable how the Mormon church, in particular, is meddling in Hawaii, since people with views like Partido's once persecuted and murdered the polygamous Mormons because they thought that God wanted them to do so.

Bill Pritchard
Overland Park, Kan.
(Via the Internet)

Nope, here are the words
to describe gay marriage

In a Dec. 10 letter, Loren Ayresman wrote to offer that three words describe same-sex marriage: "sick and wrong."

Mine are "overdue and right!"

Gene Bridges
(Via the Internet)

Why is Supreme Court
interested in minor issue?

The problem of property ownership that Amy C. Gregg of Hilo (Letters, Dec. 5) pointed out can be dealt with by having an attorney draw up a revocable living trust. Then any person in a same-sex relationship can designate anyone to inherit his or her property upon dying.

As for "benefits," if Social Security is involved, the protection against discrimination should be handled by Congress by revising the Social Security statutes.

If insurance benefits are involved, state legislatures should take care of these problems.

There does not seem to be any compelling need to get the state Judiciary involved in making such a big deal of the same-sex marriage issue.

Rijo Hori

Travelers will boycott Hawaii over gay marriage

It was interesting to read your recent story, "Same-sex seen as non-issue for tourism'' article.

I called the Chamber of Commerce to ask if its office had received any out-of-state letters from potential visitors. In fact, both the Chamber and the governor's office have received several hundred letters from past Hawaii vacationers, who have vowed never to return to the islands if same-sex marriage is legalized.

Have those travel company CEOs quoted in your article watched TV over the past three days? There isn't one national program, not "Good Morning America,'' Jay Leno, CNN or "NBC Nightly News" that has portrayed Hawaii and its same-sex marriage debate in a positive light. The entire nation is laughing at us.

Are our tourism executives really naive enough to believe that the legalization of same-sex marriage isn't going to affect our visitor industry? I certainly hope not.

Julie Williamson

State has no business
deciding who can marry

The rejection of Hawaii's ban on same-sex marriages was a landmark for gay rights, reproductive freedom and the separation of church and state.

The ruling is not an "offense to Hawaii's morals," as Deputy Attorney General Rick Eichor and Hawaii's anti-gay lobbyists keep sermonizing. Rather, Judge Chang's ruling confirms that the state has no interest in enforcing religious-based rules governing procreation and the definition of general roles.

State-recognized marriage allows individuals to enter into a legally protected relationship that may or may not accompany a religious relationship. The legal relationship must meet a state definition that is subject to constitutional scrutiny. Religious marriages, also constitutionally protected, tend to adhere to a specific religious doctrine.

If Hawaii's anti-gay lobby and Eichor really supported freedom of religion, as they claim, they would join me in celebrating Judge Chang's decision.

Eric Subert

Same-sex ruling proves
public opinion meaningless

Government no longer represents the will or the majority of the people. By Judge Chang's decision in favor of same-sex marriage, the courts have indicated that the traditional institution of union between man and woman is not sufficiently sacred or meaningful. The voices of 70 percent of the population have no power, and Hawaii has again been used as an experiment to promote the influx of liberal lifestyles and the acceptance of moneyed interests to determine our future.

Lawyers, who permeate the executive and legislative branches of government, create and interpret laws as guided by their special-interest supporters. The state knowingly presented weak arguments opposing same-sex marriage.

Hawaii has made a grave mistake in passively accepting the judgment of a select few who have succumbed to short-term material gain and long-

term spiritual decay.

Melissa Yee

Court orders another
year of repression for gays

When I read that the court ordered a year's hold on same-gender marriage, my heart sank. All of the plans that people have made will now have to be put back another year.

My friend, Candace, just married Donny. I can't imagine anyone walking up to her in her gown and telling her that she had to wait another year. This is the difference between heterosexual marriage plans and gay marriage plans, and this downright discrimination!

It seems to me that people who profess to love all mankind seem to delight in repressing people who do love all mankind.

Michele Golojuch

The Star-Bulletin
same-sex marriage archive

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