I was saddened to read the article, “Churches, Hawaii lawmakers meet on marriage bill,” on page A3 of the Oct. 5 issue of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
The article doesn’t mention that there are many religious communities that support marriage equality for all couples. The website www.hawaiiunited.org lists several of them.
Church leaders expending enormous effort opposing marriage equality and protecting their “purity” by preventing same-sex couples from getting married in their sanctuaries are doing a disservice to the church and religion in general.
Few same-sex couples would want to get married in the sanctuaries of religious communities that oppose their marriage.
Although I am not a member of the Roman Catholic church, I agree with Pope Francis that the church and other people of goodwill have other more pressing priorities. People are hurting. The planet is hurting. We should be practicing forgiveness, tolerance, compassion, love, and the celebration of all committed relationships built on those foundations.
Kill GMO bill now
The anti-GMO Bill 113 puts the cart before the horse and will absolutely have unintended and unfavorable consequences for Big Island farmers.
Though we don’t grow GMO crops, I am always looking out for the best interests of our island’s farmers, agricultural industry, food security and food costs.
Bill 113 would allow farmers on the other islands to use biotech seeds (some being developed to adapt to climate change, and others to make plants resistant to fungus and viruses), but would prohibit Big Island farmers from doing so — which would make our local farmers non-competitive, raise this island’s food costs and lessen, rather than increase, our food security.
Anti-GMO people worry that biotech crops are unsafe, but don’t seem to accept that every leading scientific and health organization in the world says they are safe. They worry about pollen-drift, but this has been widely studied and we absolutely know how to prevent it. And they ask about labeling GMO products, which I have no problem with as long as it’s not the farmers absorbing that cost. (And what would we label? Only GMO papaya? What about all the GMO products coming into the state? Will we label cereal? Who’s going to pay for labeling?)
Let’s kill this bill, and take the time to think all these things through. Let’s form a task force to come up with real and practical solutions that work for all of us and don’t cause serious problems in the big picture.