By Gene Corpuz, Dignity/Honolulu
Dignity/Honolulu has been quite busy during the first quarter of 2013. On January 21, the chapter joined PFLAG-Oahu on a Trolley, participating in the Martin Luther King Day Parade. Several other LGBT groups such as Pride at Work – Hawaii and the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party marched in the parade as well, honoring the work of Martin Luther King in furthering the cause of equal rights in America. Chapter members riding the trolley were Gene Corpuz, Jim Slatkavitz, Joan Hudson, Tim Earhart, and Charlie Hernandez. Dignity/Honolulu has participated in this annual parade since 1990.
On February 10, Dignity/Honolulu had its annual Blessing of Relationships during a weekly liturgy. Father Ernie Silva was the priest presider, and he blessed the relationships of three couples in committed relationships. The chapter has been conducting these blessings on the Sunday preceding Valentine’s Day. Although the couples participating have not entered into a civil union, there are four ministers who are registered to officiate at civil union ceremonies for Dignity/Honolulu. Several couples coming to Hawaii have contacted Dignity/Honolulu requesting civil union ceremonies.
The chapter also has athletic pursuits as well. On Monday, February 18, President’s Day, eight Dignity/Honolulu members ran or walked in the Great Aloha Run, which is an 8 mile running/walking event that raises money for local charities. The course starts at Aloha Tower in downtown Honolulu and ends at Aloha Stadium, known for being the site for the Pro Bowl. After the event, the group celebrated their accomplishment with lunch at Dreamer’s Café on Fort Street Mall in Honolulu.
As you may know, Hawaii has had civil unions for same gender couples since January 2012. There was an effort to pass a same sex marriage bill this year in the legislature, led by the group, Hawaii United for Marriage. Dignity/Honolulu was one of the groups that had signed on to this campaign. Although a marriage equality bill was introduced in the House, there were no hearings conducted by the House Judiciary Committee because the Committee Chair claimed that there was not sufficient support for the bill, despite calls and emails to the Hawaii House and Senate members and a marriage equality rally at the State Capitol. Dignity/Honolulu will continue to join efforts toward equality in Hawaii.