HB744 will prevent discrimination on the basis “race, religion or sexual orientation” in any “…activity receiving state or county financial assistance or utilizing state or county facilities.” Activities that constitute discrimination include: exclusion “from participation in, be(ing) denied the benefits of, or be(ing) subjected to discrimination”.
Using this broad language, any church or religious organization holding services at a state or county facility (such as a public school cafeteria or auditorium) could not deny services or benefits associated with their organization. This could include participation in services, membership to the religious organization or even the sanctioning of a same-sex marriage.
Any religious organization not in compliance with HB744 would be subject to an “action”. Due to the vague language, the arbiter of this action would be the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission whose actions continue to erode religious freedoms. Any choice between a person’s religious beliefs and a place to worship is no choice at all.
The Department of Education (DOE) has testified in opposition of HB744, stating that sufficient protections already exist both within the DOE and also granted by federal law.
The ACLU supports this erosion of religious freedom, and would like to add additional protected classes to the bill. Imua Alliance has testified in full support and would like HB744 to be subject to the public accommodations clause. The ACLU alleges to support religious liberties as part of their mission, but their track record (like the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission) demonstrates their contempt for people of faith.
Your testimony is needed to preserve the ability of Hawaii’s residents to freely and peaceably exercise their religious beliefs. As evidenced by the special session on same-sex marriage, there are few elected officials that are willing to stand up for people of faith, so it is up to ourselves to defend our faith and our religion.
In-person testimony: Please testify in-person at the indicated hearing time and location if you are able to. Those testifying in-person should also submit written testimony in advance of the hearing.
Written testimony: If you are unable to testify in-person, please consider submitted written testimony.
Hearing time: 2:00PM, Tuesday, January 21st, 2014