Local Hawaii businesses are united for marriage equality

October 23, 2013

Businesses3Support for the freedom to marry continues to grow as special session approaches next week! Today, more than 200 Hawaii businesses are urging state lawmakers to pass marriage equality in special session.

Last month, 60 businesses had stated their support for marriage equality in Hawaii. And in just one month, that number has tripled. Momentum is growing — and Hawaii’s local businesses are proving it.

“Besides being on the right side of history, marriage equality will bring phenomenal commerce to the business and residents of all Hawaiian islands,” said Chuck Spence, owner of Maui Sunseekers.

A Maui architecture firm agreed. “Changing Hawaii’s law to include a segment of people who have lovingly paired together, but are denied their human right to marry, is the correct action for Hawaii. This change in the law will benefit the state of Hawaii in numerous ways,” said Gerald Ashton Westerberg, co-owner of Design Response.

“We have over 200 employees and want all of them and their families to have equal protection and the responsibilities that marriage offers. It’s just the right thing to do,” said Scott Dodd, owner of Tasty Ventures in Kailua-Kona.

“I support marriage equality as a father and business owner in Hawaii. I often ask myself what kind of world I want my daughter to live in. As a human, I want respect, dignity and fairness. These values are elemental to my being. They are also the values I want my young daughter to experience and develop. It seems quite self-evident that to live these values, we must live in a society where we afford respect, dignity and fairness to all. This includes everyone, from those who share my lifestyle, faith and sexual preference and those who do not. We cannot apply these values selectively. As an owner of a marketing business in Hawaii who has numerous clients in the tourism and hospitality sectors supporting marriage equality is a wise business decision. More tourism and weddings create more commerce. I have spoken with many of my clients about the new opportunities marriage equality will bring to Hawaii. The Hawaii business community overwhelmingly looks forward to the new opportunities,” said Brian Asbjornson, owner of Kona Impact.

We’re proud to welcome local business owners from across the state to our growing coalition:

“We applaud and welcome our business partners who have the courage to take a stand on one of the most important social issues facing our community,” said Jacce Mikulanec, board member of the Japanese American Citizens League-Honolulu and a founding member of Hawaii United for Marriage. “They understand and embrace the fact that marriage equality is all about fairness and respect for all.”

“Now it’s up to the Legislature,” said Rep. Chris Lee, D-51st. “As policy makers, these are the moments for which we are elected, and I am confident that we will do the right thing and approve marriage equality. I am also convinced that in a few short years, most people will wonder what all the controversy was about.”