Letters to the Editor
Friday, December 20, 1996

Sovereignty is a farce
perpetuated by the state

As information emerges from the governor-appointed Hawaiian Sovereignty Elections Council, the state's plans for addressing kanaka maoli lands become clear.

First, a hyped-up election with a single-option ballot; a repeat of 1959. Even though the outcome of the election did not produce a mandate, the state/HSEC is marching forward.

Secret efforts have been under way by the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs to set itself up for "federal recognition." It's the same deal the native Americans got: the least productive land and no power.

Finally, we learn that the state HSEC has opened this "sovereignty process" to non-Hawaiians. Non-Hawaiian involvement in kanaka maoli self-determination is a contradiction in terms and it is completely unacceptable.

Four separate and independent evaluations of the state's process by experts on international law and the United Nations' process for decolonization have rendered the same opinion.

This process is clearly a puppet government in the making.

Cha Smith

Kids need to learn the joys
of serving the community

Adults do most of the volunteer work in Hawaii. The children of Hawaii don't do any community service work unless it's for their own schools. Is that suddenly going to change when they become adults? I don't think anyone can change overnight.

In this case, both the adults and children are at fault. Children should volunteer to help with community service. However, if they do not volunteer, then adults and parents should encourage them to participate.

Thousands of children across Hawaii spend their afternoons watching television and munching on snacks when they could be out volunteering and giving their snacks to less fortunate people.

In conclusion, thank you to all of the adults who do community service. And to all of the children of Hawaii, please participate too, and help to make Hawaii a happier place to live.

Mary Needham

Same-sex marriage issue
is least of our problems

The City Council and mayor have sold Waikiki to the developers. Our schools are falling apart. Our children cannot read. We've had drive-by shootings and hostage-takings. There are what seem like daily knifings and shootings. Prostitutes rule the streets in Waikiki after dark. Domestic violence is at an all-time high. Graffiti is everywhere.

The problems of the kanaka maoli need to be addressed. Tourists are robbed and beaten. The issue of no-fault insurance has yet to be solved. Our traffic is impossible and getting worse.

On and on, we have real problems, in need of real solutions.

The Legislature is about to meet again and the "high five" - Souki, Hoag, Hartmann, Alexander and Gabbard - will hit the floor running with the single question of same-gender marriage.

The Circuit Court has ruled, and the Supreme Court will likely follow. It does seem that we have more pressing problems to solve here in Hawaii.

George Vye

Supreme Court justices
repress the will of people

The prospect that the Hawaii Supreme Court will legalize same-sex marriage is judicial activism at its worst. For the justices to interpret that the gender discrimination law applies to same-sex couples took some creative loops.

The public at large is justified in its anger at the courts. This anger stems from the notion that a small body of appointed judges, under the guise of promoting civil rights, are attempting to make major public policy changes - contrary to the will of the Legislature and the public, to suit their own activist agenda.

It is now up to our Legislature to fix this once and for all, and to do it now.

Dennis Tingey
Pearl City
(Via the Internet)

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 archive

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