Letters to the Editor
Monday, March 24, 1997

Court offers safety tips
on domestic violence

This is in response to Marilyn Moe's Feb. 11 letter regarding the Family Court's treatment of Saldy Marzan.

Every person who seeks and obtains a restraining order from Family Court is given a safety plan that provides options to avoid further abuse. They are told that the restraining order does not guarantee protection and, therefore, a workable safety plan is imperative.

A "no contest plea" in a domestic abuse case results in a finding of guilt by the judge and a conviction. There is a mandatory two-day jail term for abuse convictions with a maximum of one year in jail, depending upon the facts and circumstances. However, if the sentence equals the time the defendant has been incarcerated, he is released.

All defendants on probation are supervised by a probation officer. If a defendant violates the terms of probation, the probation officer can ask the prosecutor to request the court to revoke the defendant's probation status and impose a new sentence. Generally, probation is revoked when safety-related violations occur, such as failure to attend domestic violence counseling, violation of a no-contact order or substance abuse violations.

Plea bargains are primarily the province of the prosecutor. The court does not automatically accept a plea bargain even when all attorneys agree. However, if the victim does not appear at trial and the case is likely to be dismissed, a plea bargain may be the prosecutor's only option rather than having the case dismissed.

The Judiciary regards the reduction of domestic violence as a priority and is committed to fairly and promptly addressing this serious problem.

Michael F. Broderick
Administrative Director of the Courts
Jucidiary, State of Hawaii

Senate language is needed
on issue of gay marriage

Your March 15 editorial scolded the Legislature and particularly the Senate for wasting time over the same-gender marriage issue. You quote one Senate change to the constitutional amendment proposed by the House: "provided that doing so does not deprive any person of civil rights on the basis of sex." You cite Terrance Tom, indicating that the new language "confuses Hawaii marriage laws with civil rights and sex discrimination" and then you write, "The House members have a point."

Whoa! What makes you think that Tom has more judicial wisdom than the Hawaii Supreme Court, Judge Chang and the State Commission on Sexual Orientation and the Law combined? All of these have found significant discrimination in civil law and therefore in civil rights between heterosexual couples who can marry if they wish and same-gender couples who cannot marry, regardless.

The language of the Senate Judiciary Committee is necessary if the populace amends the Constitution to preclude gays and lesbians from marriage. Otherwise, given the history of this case, the amendment would clearly deny equal rights and equal access to redress.

James F. Cartwright

(Via the Internet)

Heterosexuals must unite
against the gay 'agenda'

Those who want to preserve traditional marriage in Hawaii must remain vigilant. Now is the time for all citizens to get the message to their state senators: Let the people decide by passing a clear and simple constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage!

Homosexuals already have civil rights in America, along with every other citizen. They have the same access to the benefits, rights and restraints attached to being an American. What homosexual activists are really asking for is "special" rights. Because of their sexual choice, they believe they should be treated as a unique class of society.

Homosexuality is a voluntary sexual practice, not an innate quality like race, nation of origin or gender, and therefore not a "civil right" to be protected. Civil rights are determined by the U.S. Constitution. No federal judge has ever ruled that same-sex marriage, or even marriage itself, is a civil right.

Let us clearly speak the truth in love. The homosexual lifestyle is a proven killer! Love and compassion must compel us to work to preserve the sanctity of traditional marriage.

Mark Blair
Hilo, Hawaii

Legislature should know
that God has all answers

The liberal Democratic-controlled Legislature is setting up a task force to study the restoring of capital punishment. Its members could have looked in the Holy Bible to see what Almighty God thinks about the law concerning violence. In Exodus 21:12, God says, "He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death."

This same body of politicians could have looked into the Bible to see what God thinks about same-sex marriage. He doesn't say it's a civil-rights issue or discrimination against gays. In Romans Chapter 1 and 1 Corinthians Chapter 6, God says same-sex marriage is a sin, period.

Instead of spending our tax dollars on endless common sense debates and setting up a task force, look in the Holy Bible for solutions. Like eternal life, it's free.

Melvin Partido
Pearl City

Same-sex archive

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