Summer 1998 Home   Newsletters

Fall 1998

Winter 1998

Position on Domestic Violence
President's Message (Jean Aoki)
LWV US Lobby Request
State Board Actions
Education Committee Report (Mary Anne Raywid)
In Memory of Marion Saunders 1908-1998
Vote by Mail Study (Marian Wilkins)
BOE Voter's Guide
Con Con Pamphlet
Volunteers Needed
Hoover on Advisory Committee
League Local News - Hawaii County
League Local News - Honolulu
League Local News - Kauai County (Carol Bain)

President's Message

With League taking such a visible role in our advocacy campaign against Con Con and the amendment to the Constitution giving the Legislature the authority to reserve marriage to opposite sex couples, we have been inundated with calls, faxes, e-mail, and letters - many applauding our efforts and expressing appreciation and support, some asking for more information, some disagreeing and engaging in conversations in a civil manner, and some merely intent on venting their venom at us.

There are too many non-Leaguers who really do not understand League's role and mission. Yes, besides providing voter service and information on various issues, we do advocate on those issues on which we have positions.

Our position on the proposed constitutional amendment is based on National League's position. Under a general heading, Citizen Rights, our position on individual liberties is, "Oppose major threats to basic constitutional rights."

League's "Principles" begin with the paragraph, "The League of Women Voters believes in representative government and in the individual liberties established in the Constitution of the United States."

Further down, it reads " and that no person or group should suffer legal, economic, or administrative discrimination."

Gradually, many people who were led to focus only on their emotional response to marriage for homosexual couples are beginning to see the amendment for what it is - an introduction of discrimination into our Bill of Rights. No American constitution - not our federal constitution, not any of the state constitutions - carry such a discriminatory section in their Bill of Rights. Hawaii would win the dubious distinction of being the first if this amendment wins approval.

What is disturbing is that so many of our elected officials who have taken an oath to up-hold the Constitution of the State of Hawaii are coming out in favor of the amendment and refusing to see it for what it is - the introduction of an exception to our Bill of Rights and the setting of a precedent that may very well be the beginning of the erosion of our civil rights.

Many see League's stand on this issue as bold, and as uncharacteristic of League. We say, "Nonsense". We are the descendants of the suffragettes who withstood ridicule and untold hardships for years to win the vote for women. We stand with Leagues across the nation to do battle to protect the rights of all citizens.

There are instances in our country's history when the majority or the powerful have inflicted injustice on the minority and the less powerful. But, with time, we've recognized and corrected many of our errors of judgment. Our bill of Rights stands as a beacon to people all over the world. A democracy cannot survive unless its people enjoy the freedom and liberty safeguarded by constitutional rights.

Jean Aoki

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