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Letters to the editor


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POSTED: Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hawaii no longer most tolerant place

When I was a young man, I put my life on the line in the struggle to defeat segregation and bring long-overdue equality to blacks. At the time the biggest obstacle was many churches in the South. These churches organized the fears and prejudices of their white congregations against black equality. At the time I thought that their behavior was incredibly un-Christian.

I've lived long enough to see history repeat itself. Once again we see churches organizing fears and prejudices. This time their target is another minority fighting to achieve their long-overdue rights guaranteed by our founding documents. And this time I'm even more disturbed than I was in the '60s, because this is Hawaii. For my 48 years here I have bragged that Hawaii is the most tolerant place on earth. Some churches in Hawaii have proved me wrong. It is a very painful eye-opener. Auwe!

 

Rick Lloyd

Honolulu

 

Legislature consistent with state's high court

The idea that marriage between two people of the same sex is a civil right and a constitutional one at that is a pernicious idea. Saying it is so does not make it so. In fact, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled in 1993, “;We do not believe that a right to same-sex marriage is so rooted in the traditions and collective conscience of our people that failure to recognize it would violate the fundamental principles of liberty and justice. ... Accordingly, we hold that same-sex couples do not have a fundamental constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”;

By voting against pulling the civil-union bill, House Bill 444, to the floor for a vote, 18 of our state senators honored the will of 70 percent of the people who supported traditional marriage via a constitutional amendment in 1998.

 

Janice Pechauer

Past president

Save Traditional Marriage '98

 

Are we or are we not a nation of equality?

Isn't it amazing that we would even be voting on an issue of equal rights for a minority of our U.S. citizens? We pride ourselves on being a nation of equality, yet there are those who would deny a group the same rights because of their sexual orientation. It makes me question these people's intentions and their intolerance.

We often criticize the actions of Islamic fundamentalists for their acts of terror because of their religious convictions. Perhaps it is time we address our own actions. When we marginalize and deny any minority their equal rights, we are putting out a message that this group is “;lesser than.”; This gives a message that acts of violence toward this group are subtly condoned. It also teaches that this group is separate from our society. This can be quite a hazardous message for children growing up in that minority group, leading to suicide, low self-esteem and self-destructive behavior.

The great message of our new president is one of unity. In these days of financial crisis and unpredictability, we will need every one of our citizens to work together. We don't have the luxury of separation or bigotry.

 

Mark Kadota

Waianae

 

Congress owes kids better health care

During the presidential campaign, President Barack Obama clearly expressed his support for eliminating health insurance discrimination based on a patient's pre-existing medical condition. In our current system, patients can experience great difficulty obtaining and/or maintaining insurance coverage if they have ever been treated for an illness or condition, however manageable.

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) reintroduced the Children's Health Protection Act of 2009 on March 5. This legislation would eliminate coverage exclusions and waiting periods based on pre-existing conditions for all children and young adults under the age of 25.

The legislation addresses the 20 percent of school-age children who have a chronic condition, who are at risk of being denied access to care or who already are among the nearly 9 million children who are currently uninsured.

In an effort to control escalating health care costs and keep our nation's children healthy, Congress should pass the Children's Health Protection Act immediately, and I hope you will join me in urging Hawaii's members of Congress to co-sponsor this critical legislation.

 

Emily Brown

Honolulu

 

Give some stimulus to the poor and elderly

A billion dollars in the way of federal stimulus is on its way to Hawaii. A billion dollars. This is on top of what we as a community already spend on who knows what. Tonight children will sleep in their homes under a tarp on a beach, or behind a freeway in a cold wind and even on a concrete floor in a public toilet. How many elderly will go without a meal tonight and are terrified with no hope?

Oh, sure, there is all kinds of money now coming, dedicated to fix the problem. Will the money ever reach the needy? I hate today's political priorities.

 

Jim Cone

Honolulu

 

               

     

 

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