Open letter to Rep. Mele Carroll asks for pono and aloha on issue of marriage equality

| November 11, 2013 | 22 Comments

Dear Representative Carroll:

I have called, e-mailed, testified in writing, tweeted and even Facebooked you. You chose to NEVER respond. In your speech at 9 p.m. on Nov. 8, 2013 you spoke of ALOHA AND PONO. Not responding is NOT ALOHA or PONO! I feel like you have not listened to me or many people who were, and are, in support of equality for all. You by your words tonight have said to the world “Hawaii’s 13 district believes that it is OK to discriminate against same sex couples.”
marriage equality
My heart is broken because you, Representative Carroll, have said “It is OK to discriminate.” This is a bad message to teach our keiki. I am afraid you may have forgotten the principal of Hawaii’s AIKANE! The old Hawaiian saying, “Polena pa’a ‘ia iho ke aloha i kuleana like ai kaua”, translated means “In love tightly bound you and I share equal rights.” This ancient Hawaiian philosophy should ring true today, but you have silenced it.

I chose to marry my spouse because we believe in the sanctity of marriage. Representative Carroll by your words tonight you have said my spouse and I do not matter and that we are not ohana. Where is the PONO and ALOHA you spoke of? Representative Carroll my spouse and I matter, we simply want to live a calm, safe, PONO, ALOHA and EQUAL life. That is all we were asking by wanting marriage equality. I am saddened and ashamed of your no vote.

Dr. Tim Riley
Kaunakakai, Hawaii

Category: maui county, opinion

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  1. nature lover says:

    Aloha Dr. Riley.. Thank you for your open letter. We, voters, will remember when it comes time to vote. You say that your heart is broken, am hetero but who cares, “I am mad!”by such small mindedness.

  2. mkklolo says:

    Ms. Carroll, though often misguided, is entitled to her opinion and all of us are entitled to ours. Opinions are like certain body parts we all have in common. All the legislation in the world is not going to change minds and hearts. The State of Hawaii may be redefining marriage to satisfy a minority group but you cannot demand that everyone buy into it. There is no constitutional right to approval or acceptance on the part of individuals. We are still free to like or dislike one-another for any reason we choose, although the thought police would probably argue that point.

    Like it or not, many think that what is happening here shows a total disrespect to those of us who have spent a lifetime practicing traditional marriage and that something fundamentally different has been interjected into the State’s artificial definition for political purposes. The next step will be “affirmative action”, otherwise known as reverse discrimination.

    Pardon me if I don’t cry over your broken heart. As a straight, white, atheist male I get a lot of junk stuffed down my throat that makes me sad and angry and even fearful at times. I know what it is to have to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself in this small community. It’s life. Suck it up.

    • Dr. Tim Riley says:

      When we talk about traditional marriage we in our society have based traditional marriage on the definition from the Bible. So let us take a quick look at the Bible and traditional marriage as you have decided to argue. As far as your argument regarding “traditional marriage” I am sorry but it does not hold water. Here is an example from the Bible:(Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT)
      If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her. And if that does not show you that you may be misinformed about “traditional marriage with regards to GOD try this ……. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother’s widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10) Then of course there is this ……. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5) And She must be a Virgin or Else she will be Stoned. Let us not forget ……….A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21) I would be remiss if I did not remind you of these two passages also ………. Marriage shall not impede a man’s right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21) …………….. Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30). There are many more examples in the Bible of “traditional marriage” ………. I THINK WE HAVE ALREADY REDEFINED TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE DON’T YOU?

      • Dr. Riley,
        There are bigots with varying levels of education and with various religions; the only differences among them is the eloquence of their flawed arguments and the god they use to justify their bigotry. At the end of the day, they’re all still bigots.

        I wish Aloha to everyone on Molokai and in the State of Hawaii, even the bigots!

      • Steve Morgan says:

        Dr. Riley- In regard to your biblical presentation you seem to ignore one obvious consistency, marriage was always between male and female.

        • Dr. Tim Riley says:

          IF by marriage, you are referring to a union recognized in writing (with a wedding certificate) or by civil authorities, then the answer is yes. David and Jonathan or the Centurion and his beloved partner are two immediate examples Of same sex marriage I can think of.

          Gay marriages in the Bible include the marriage partnership of Jonathan and David, which was recognized as a sexual partnership by King Saul himself, 1 Samuel 18:21, 20:30, and the marriage partnership of the centurion and his beloved servant, Matthew 8:5-10 and Luke 7:1-10.

        • Dr. Tim Riley says:

          Oh and I just remembered the marriage of Christian martyrs Saint
          Sergius and Saint Bacchus. They were united in the ritual of adelphopoiesis, which is an early form of religious same-sex marriage.

          • Steve Morgan says:

            Dr. Riley,

            If you at least want to find some sort of defense in your lifestyle maybe try the “Responsum on Gay Marriage” determined by the Rabbinical Assembly, it at least remains constant in its challenges recognizing the validity of halachah and the consistency that must be developed with Torah law.

            I have studied the Bible most of my life and continue to do so on a daily basis, still I make no claims of scholarship. But even for the novice there are consistent themes that are impossible to ignore.

          • sam monet says:

            Hi Steve, give it up, your horse has been beaten to death 🙂

    • Steve Morgan says:

      Mkklolo- well said! even if you write it into law, oil and water do not mix…….

      And Dr. Riley, here is another ‘Olelo No’eau- “I ka wa ma mua, ka wa ma hope”- The future is found in the past.

      What this means is that if we apply the wisdom of our kupuna from the past we will flourish in the future. The kupuna never dreamed of the type of marriage that you describe. In fact in Hawaii Kahiko marriage went one step further in its definition by including procreation. The type of marriage commitment that we speak of commenced upon a man and a woman having a child. It seems that there was a certain tolerance for homosexuality and transgender, this is especially true with the latter as “Mahu” played a role in Hawaiian society, but the kupuna never paralleled these roles with marriage. I would say that these traditional values were demonstrated among the majority of Kanaka Maoli who spoke out at the legislative hearing in adamant opposition to same-sex marriage while simultaneously demonstrating tolerance and compassion to those in the LGBT community.

  3. sam monet says:

    wow, well said, i know what it is like to be ignored by our servants in government, i just thought it was just me and nobody else


  4. kalaniua ritte says:

    right on doc,at least u have the guts to put yourself out their …not like the lolo who bashing u…neva keep your thoughts an feelings to yourself because u scared of the boogie man

    • sam monet says:

      “We are still free to like or dislike one-another for any reason we choose, although the thought police would probably argue that point.”

      that is the problem in its essence, dislike for any reason we choose. This guy has not evolved.

      affirmative action has leveled the playing field that was for so long given straight, white males an unfair advantage. too bad buddy, suck it up

    • Dr. Tim Riley says:

      Thank you for your kinds words ……. I will always speak up for the truth!!! I will always find myself relying on the words from that great man Bishop Desmond Tutu “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”.

      • sam monet says:

        There are many more examples in the Bible of “traditional marriage” ………. I THINK WE HAVE ALREADY REDEFINED TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE DON’T YOU?

        Dr. Riley, thanks for the biblical analysis. 🙂

        hawaiian “tradition” has been westernized just like the language, my 90 year old mother olelo with hands, sounds/language, and facial inflections that UH students cannot begin to understand, and our lore has gone the same way. Mom’s hanai step brother (Polohiwa Kailikini) was a black kid who was until his death the only fluent hawaiian black man in the world. Unfortunately, many of our “traditions” die with the language.

        mahu were more than just tolerated, our ancestors, especially ali’i had many wives, practiced all kinds of sex too numerous to mention..after all it was warm, not much clothing and sex was a form of alo-ha. Clothing, keawe trees and the bible just made our way of life unlawful and we have suffered from their introduction ever since.

      • steve says:

        gotta disagree here, doc.

        i said i was “indifferent on the topic” back in the inital story’s comments, but that doesn’t make me an oppressor (or even on their side).

        i wasn’t with president bush back when either. that didn’t make me “with the terrorists”, did it?

        i think there’s room on a host of issues where grey is suitable when the choice is either black or white.

        with all due respect.

  5. steve says:

    yep, one-person-one-vote is a really sh*tty form of government (except for every other type).

  6. mkklolo says:

    Yes, Steve, democracy sucks…human nature and special interest always seems to screw it up. I wish I could think of something better.

    And Sam, two wrongs still make a wrong.

    • sam monet says:

      Hi Mklolo
      the only wrong is to judge someone by their sexual preference or skin color, among other things

      fortunately for me i have had the experience of living in foreign democratic countries where one vote is really one vote…the US supreme court skewed the playing field against the American people, when foreign corporations start donating big money, then your vote will be diminished again proportionately.
      corporate donations without limit makes our congress and legislature answer to phone or email when it is “whale”, if not, no one is home…sad but true…again suck it up 🙂
      hope your day gets better, it is really beautiful out

    • sam monet says:

      i hate to beat this horse to death, however, we as a society have wasted sooooo much energy (time and money) on social/religous issues, bigotry and hypocracy that we fail to see the really important issues we as a civilized society need to deal with: education, environment (water, food, living standards), social harmony, medical care, children and elderly…to name a few that other civilized societies around the world have come to grips with. men and men, women and women, men and women, were integrating in various ways and combinations long before we as humans learned to read, write or use a cell phone…you and i will never change that, all we can do is accept each person for who or what they are and beilive, and try as i am doing now to let those who do not see things one way, to perhaps look at it from another angle

  7. kalaniua ritte says:

    eh the bill went pass ….suck suck suck it up

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