Letters to the Editor
Tuesday, March 25, 1997

Why so much repulsion
over same-sex marriage?

The Supreme Court said if the people of Hawaii wish to exclude gay and lesbian couples from marriage, they must specify the compelling interest that makes it necessary. The state failed utterly. Opponents of same-sex marriage, for all their moralistic rhetoric, also have failed to specify any legitimate interest that would be threatened.

I keep wondering about the source of all this righteous indignation. The vocal ones say it is because the way that the couples make love is immoral. Yet, no other immorality stirs quite this degree of indignation. Theft does not. Violence does not. Certainly these are more damaging to society.

Is it the sexual nature of this offense that motivates? Yet pre-marital and extra-marital sex do not. Surely these are a far greater threat to the integrity of the family and the stability of the community.

Is it because these couples want to be a family? Is it that they want to be like us that we cannot tolerate?

A marriage ceremony is a celebration of a committed loving relationship that has occurred between two persons. The ceremony does not create it, and the license only records.

Rev. Mike Young
First Unitarian Church of Honolulu

A Buddhist's perspective
of same-gender marriage

Buddhism is a religion of choice, and a person should choose the life paths consistent with his or her own conscience. From the Buddhist standpoint, relationships between individuals are matters of private, mutual consent, whether heterosexual or homosexual.

Buddhism teaches that many factors come into play in creating a person. They are beyond the control of any individual. Some factors are race, gender, heredity, social and cultural environment and gender identification.

We are all complex beings who should treat each other with respect. We should not limit for any reason any equal citizen's access to social and civil benefits and rights that are available to any other citizen.

Buddhism also stresses the principle of interdependence, whereby each person's life is affected by others and one's life also affects others. Any relationship that fulfills the happiness and well-being of another is a positive and acceptable relationship.

There are other Buddhist principles which show that same-gender relationships and the rights that follow from them, such as marriage, can be positive in assisting people to discover their own true nature and to realize the depth of their spiritual potential.

Alfred Bloom
Member, Hawaii Association
of International Buddhists

Society 'frowns' on bars,
gay marriage, therefore ...

Recently, Senate Ways and Means Co-Chairwomen Lehua Fernandez Salling and Carol Fukunaga were quoted as saying that since the "majority of society" frowns upon hostess bars, strip clubs and cabarets, they should be taxed at higher rates.

This logic is intriguing, especially since the two senators have not supported efforts to preserve traditional marriage despite the desire of "the majority of society" to do so.

The constitutional amendment recently put forward by the Senate does not do the job. In the end, it will not reaffirm the preferred status of marriage between one man and one woman. All along, opponents of same-sex marriage have argued that the people should be given the opportunity to decide this issue.

Clearly, the majority of people frown upon legalizing same-sex marriage. I hope Salling and Fukunaga remain consistent in their support of enacting laws on behalf of the "majority."

Belma A. Baris
Lihue, Kauai

We must improve world
one child at a time

I am a kindergarten teacher. For Valentine's Day, I received the following letter from Dr. and Mrs. Seiji Yamada:

"This is a story that the superintendent of the high school where I used to teach told me once:

"A father who was reading a magazine one day came upon a world map. He remembered reading that students in the U.S. do poorly in world geography, and he decided to test his young son. He tore the map into little pieces and asked his son to put them back together.

"His son came back shortly with the world map in one piece. The father told his son how proud he was of him. His son then told him that on the back of the page he found a photo of a child. When he put the child together, the world became one.

"The moral of this story is that in order for us to solve the problems of the world, we have to start with one child at a time. Why are we so oblivious to the importance of education?

"It seems to me that we should consider it to be the core responsibility of society. We fully support our teachers' efforts to improve our education system . . . "

Resi Matsushige

Same-sex archive

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