Sister Joan Chatfield: Golden rule should guide marriage debate

October 22, 2013


Sister Joan’s Op-Ed ran in the Star-Advertiser.

Sister Joan Chatfield is adding her respected voice to support the freedom to marry in Hawaii. Sister Joan taught for 36 years in Hawaii Catholic schools. She was also the Executive Director of the Institute for Religious and Social Change, and the founder of Project RESPECT.

“I am a committed Catholic and have been a Maryknoll sister for more than 60 years,” Sister Joan said. “I believe love is love. When you find the person who you want to commit to spending your life with, your community should celebrate that and stand with you. Your church, your family and your neighbors should support you without judgment.”

Sister Joan understands that the Hawaii legislature needs to take action to protect all couples who wish to marry in our state of Hawaii. She also knows that treating some couples as second-class citizens goes against the spirit of aloha.

“It is especially important to embrace marriage equality here in Hawaii. I have lived here for more than 50 years and I know how close-knit island communities can be. We owe it to one another to accept each other in our beautiful diversity and not discriminate against people for who they are or whom they love,” Sister Joan said. “Hawaii’s marriage legislation also supports religious freedom. It allows churches and clergy who wish to perform same-sex marriages to do so, and protects the rights of churches and clergy who do not. I urge the Hawaii Legislature to not stand in the way of caring and committed couples who wish to commit to spend their lives together in marriage.”

CLICK HERE to tell your representatives to vote YES on marriage in Hawaii!