Hawaii’s marriage equality bill protects freedom

September 18, 2013

HIReligiousFreedomHawaii’s marriage equality bill is pretty simple. If passed, the marriage bill would do two things:

  1. Extend marriage to loving same-sex couples.
  2. Protect religious freedom by allowing religious institutions and faith organizations to act according to their faith.

That’s it. Over the last several weeks, our opponents have ramped up their efforts to muddle the debate and mislead legislators, by claiming that the freedom to marry would be an infringement on religious liberty.

But as Vanessa Chong, Executive Director of the ACLU of Hawaii, recently wrote in the Star-Advertiser, that just isn’t true. The freedom of faith organizations to choose who they will and will not marry is a right granted by the constitution — and the marriage bill won’t change that:

The Constitution protects the right of clergy and religious institutions to decide which marriages they will participate in or support. The marriage law can’t, and won’t, change that.

Before special session begins on October 28th, it’s crucial that we address falsehoods from the opposition head on so our lawmakers know the truth: passing marriage equality will ensure freedom for all.

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