Hawaii’s Faith-Based Leaders Reaffirm Their Support for Marriage EqualityNovember 6, 2013
Honolulu, HI. A coalition of Hawaii faith leaders gathered in the State Capitol Rotunda and urged lawmakers to make Hawaii the 16th state in the country to legalize same sex marriage.
The 30 leaders made their case as state lawmakers held a debate on a marriage equality measure making its way through a special session of the Legislature.
“Sadly, and in part due to what we’ve been hearing these past five days in the basement of this building, some may have the impression that all Christians are opposed to the freedom to marry. We are here today to say that’s not the case,” said the Rev. Kerry Grogan, Christ Church United Prebsterian/Disciples of Christ in Kailua.
“Those behind me represent just some of the Christian denominations and they are here to tell you unequivocally that it’s not God against gays. It’s God against homophobia or discrimination against any of God’s children,” said the Rev. Jonipher Kupono Kwong of the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu.
Rev. Kwong helped organize an interfaith service event in late August that occurred several weeks prior to Governor Neil Abercrombie announcing a special session to decide if Hawaii would be joining the growing number of states legalizing same sex marriage.
“When we signed this big poster in Nuuanu over two months ago, we had a few dozen signers. Today I’m happy to report we have over 90 religious leaders throughout Hawaii Nei who support the freedom to marry,” Rev. Kwong said.
“For me the bottom line is not about whether you are straight or gay. It’s about love and it’s the fact that all love counts,” said the Rev. Dr. Charlene Zuill from the Wesley Foundation at UH Manoa.
“Remember that Jesus said, Love thy neighbor as thyself,” said Rev. Michael Grogan of the United Church of Christ, Judd St., and the Wahiawa Christian Church.
A University of Hawaii junior joined the faith leaders in their support for equality. “I believe marriage is a sacred union between two hearts. That union is fused by God as the foundation. I believe love should be an equal opportunity for all,” said Nila (need last name).
Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriages. Hawaii has a civil unions law, but does not allow gay couples to marry.
Hawaii United for Marriage is a statewide coalition of religious congregations, businesses, labor unions and community organizations. More information is available at www.HawaiiUnited.org