Election 2002

Gabbard campaign brochure
draws protests from ministers

Voters will have final say
ACLU loses bid to prevent vote count

By Mary Adamski

Catholic and Baptist clergymen objected yesterday to being included in the campaign literature of City Council candidate Mike Gabbard.

The Gabbard campaign did not get permission to use photographs of Catholic Bishop Francis DiLorenzo and the Rev. Marc Alexander with Gabbard in a brochure about Gabbard's 1998 campaign against legislation to permit same-sex marriage.

"If it had asked, permission would not have been granted," said a statement released by diocesan spokesman Patrick Downes. The disclaimer came after several Catholics complained in calls to the diocese offices over the weekend, he said.

Also yesterday, the Rev. Jim Brito, pastor of Kaala View Baptist Church, said he signed a Gabbard campaign letter critical of his opponent, Pam Witty-Oakland, but has since talked to her and learned it contained "incorrect information." Brito said his objection was against efforts that have forced government agencies to remove references to God and Christian symbols from public places. He said he signed the letter believing that Witty-Oakland was backed by Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of State and Church.

Gabbard said, "The pictures of Father Marc and Bishop DiLorenzo were there to glorify them for the key role they played in the fight to stop the legalization of same-sex marriage." Voters defeated the measure in the 1998 election.

Gabbard said: "The same thing happened during the battle to protect traditional marriage. Religious leaders would make public statements or take a stand, and then they'd be threatened with loss of their tax-exempt status ... and they'd back down."

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