Target: Bishop of Honolulu Larry Silva
Goal: Condemn Hawaiian bishop for saying that discrimination against gay couples is just
Recently, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie announced that he would most likely call a special session to convene the state legislature to discuss a proposed measure that would make Hawaii the fourteenth state in the country to fully grant marriage equality. Bishop of Honolulu Larry Silva quickly issued a response in a letter to all Catholics living in Hawaii that calls for them to support discrimination against gay couples as just. The treatment of certain U.S. citizens as inferior and second-class citizens especially by individuals who represent the Catholic Church is abhorrent and must be condemned.
Silva argued in his letter that discrimination is acceptable as long as it is “just.” Some forms of discrimination against same-sex couples, he contends, are valid in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Furthermore, if same-sex marriage is legalized, incest, polygamy, and pedophilia would become normal and acceptable behavior. The idea that gay marriage would lead to similar rights for people who want to have several spouses and that taxpayers would have to pay for the benefits for all of those spouses is pure sophistry and abhorrent.
Silva then says that religions such as Catholicism that do not acknowledge marriage equality might be persecuted if this law passes. No religious group has ever been forced to marry couples, and the bill specifically preserves the rights of religious institutions. Silva goes on to say that marriage equality would adversely affect the progeny of same-sex couples. He ignores the evidence that children raised by same-sex couples are raised very well and turn out okay, arguing that poverty and other social ills would be the result of this law passing.
In 2011, Hawaii passed a civil unions law in order to promote equality for all individuals living in the state. After the Supreme Court rendered the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in July 2013, it became apparent that civil unions were not treated as marriages under federal law and in fact were viewed and treated as inferior to them. Because Hawaii voters voted in favor of marriage equality by a large margin in 2011, Silva is calling for Catholics to pray that the state legislature not grant legal equality to gay couples. Please sign this petition to condemn Silva for promoting inequality and treating the gay community as second-class citizens.
Dear Bishop Larry Silva,
We condemn your efforts to halt the passage of a bill that would fully grant marriage equality to gay couples in the state of Hawaii. You argue that legal protection of gay marriage would hurt the children of same-sex marriages and promote incest, pedophilia and polygamy as normal behavior. Furthermore, you claim that passing this law would persecute religions that do not endorse marriage equality. These arguments are simply untrue and not founded on existing research.
In 2011, voters in Hawaii passed a civil unions law as a step towards promoting equality for all individuals living in the state. Governor Neil Abercrombie has recently announced that he will most likely call a special session to convene the legislature in order to debate a bill that would grant full marriage equality to all couples in the state of Hawaii. Your heinous reaction to this proposed measure that calls for all Catholics in Hawaii to pray that the legislature not legalize marriage equality must be condemned. We hope you reconsider how you view the gay community as many of its members are also practicing Catholics. They should not be reviled and treated as second-class citizens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: woozie2_0 via Flickr