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Recycling Soon - Let's Help It Happen (Anna Hoover)
City's "Family Day" (Marsha Joyner)
LWV Board Member Jackie Parnell Recognized as Top in Field
Call to Action: Curb Global Warming from National LWV
Welcome New Members

THE CITY'S "FAMILY DAY"

A View from the Inside of the Family Day Controversy

America's journey toward justice has not been easy and is far from over. The racial, gender and religious bigotry fed by hate, greed and power did not end with the Civil Rights movement, the Women's movement, the Physically Disadvantaged or the Gay Rights movements. These issues are still troubling. On July 5, we saw a flagrant abuse and total disregard of the law.

Family Day, a City & County Event advertised as an "exciting, patriotic celebration to focus on families. Co-sponsored by the City & County of Honolulu and the Hawaii Christian Coalition", per the original Family Day flyer.

In an early conversation with Mrs. Williams, parade chair, she made clear her position about Gay participation. She asked me, "How do you, as President of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition-Hawai'i, keep out things from your parade you do not want?" "Oh that is simple," I said, not fully comprehending what she meant. "We just say in the application that there will be no signs with hate language." "No." Mrs. Williams replied, "That is not what I mean, you see we are traditional marriage. You do understand?"

Completely taken aback I told her "This will cause you more problems than you can imagine." Mrs. William did not seem to understand what I was saying.

The following day I called two people of the Harris administration to tell them of my concern about the Hawaii Christian Coalition and the attempt to exclude the Gay Community while using taxpayers' money. Neither of the administrators knew anything about the Hawaii Christian Coalition's stated opposition to the Gay community. They did say however, that several other people had voiced concern about the City & County co-sponsoring the event.

Every Wednesday in the month of May and June, Deputy Managing Director Malcolm Tom ran meetings with City and County of Honolulu employees and ministers from Hawaii Christian Coalition Churches, usually in a one to one ratio. If a person were not a minister or City employee then they were in the minority. At one of these meetings Michael Golojuch, Jr. asked Malcolm Tom how was the average taxpayers supposed to know that the parade was only sponsored by the Hawaii Christian Coalition. To that question Mr. Tom said that he did not know. Michael wondered if Mr. Tom did not know the answer to that question and he was deeply involved with everything to do with Family Day, then how are we the taxpayers suppose to know?

At one of these general meetings of the family day event a member of one of the Gay & Lesbian organizations was denied the opportunity to obtain an application for the parade.

The letter which accompanied the parade application stated " We want to show forth as family: morals, values and good clean fun ... Parade Chairman shall have the final determination as to who may participate in the parade... Entrants that are not deemed appropriate for children's viewing or that promote political, controversial or negative advocacy or otherwise are deemed objectionable."

Early in the parade, moving slowly down Kalakaua Avenue, were children seated on a military tank with their heads sticking out of the openings waving American flags. Also a woman standing atop the tank was pointing the mounted gun. It was apparent to me that the Hawaii Christian Coalition preferred the "moral value" of tanks and guns for their children, as opposed to people who are different from them.

In making a case before the Federal Judge Helen Gilmor, Deputy Corporation Counsel Gregory Swartz said that the City & County did not co-sponsor the Family Day parade. The Hawaii Christian Coalition was absent from ALL printed material by the time they went to court. However, the overwhelming evidence indicated that the City & County of Honolulu used taxpayers' money and partnered with the Hawaii Christian Coalition.

The City and County officially co-sponsors the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, which I chair. I was asked to submit a sworn affidavit as to the level of support provided by the City. I truthfully swore that we did not receive much of the support extended to the Hawaii Christian Coalition's parade. Consequently, Gregory Swartz indicated that the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday sponsorship would be in question because I "stabbed them in the back". Where does the buck stop for that statement?

Marsha Joyner

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