Hawaiʻi Marriage Equality Act
It was moved by Judy Fox, seconded by Bob Hobson and voted that the Church Council of Keawalaʻi Congregational Church approves the performance of same-gender marriages in affirmation of our Mission Statement. (Church Council, Keawalaʻi Congregational Church, November 7, 2013)
On Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Governor Neil Abercrombie signed into law a bill legalizing “same-sex marriage in Hawaiʻi.” The debate over Senate Bill 1 during the recent special session of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature reflected an ongoing debate that began over twenty years ago.
Prior to the public debate on marriage, the Board of Deacons of the church had already agreed by consensus to approve the blessing of same-gender couples in 1993. With regard to marriages and blessings, it was decided that “everyone should be treated the same and that all should go through the same process of meeting with Kahu. It was, then, decided that Kahu would make the decision regarding requests for same-gender blessings.” (Church Council, March 7, 2001)
When Senate Bill 232 was passed on February 23, 2011, it legalized opposite-gender and same-gender civil unions. In keeping with the previous decision by the Board of Deacons, Kahu was licensed by the State of Hawaiʻi in 2012 to perform marriages and civil unions.
In anticipation of the passage of the “Hawaiʻi Marriage Equality Act” on November 13, 2013, the Church Council of Keawalaʻi Congregational Church, United Church of Christ voted at its meeting on Thursday, November 7, 2013 to approve the performance of same-gender marriages by Kahu. The action by the Church Council takes into account the commitment of the United Church of Christ (USA) in support of marriage equality and the previous actions of the Board of Deacons and Church Council. It also takes into account the ‘Ōlelo Mikiona or Mission Statement of the church that “we welcome all, love all and accept all into our ‘ohana.”
Kate Acks — Moderator/President
Robert Hobson — Vice-Moderator/Vice-President
Judy Kapohakimohewa — Secretary
Bruce Purvis — Treasurer
Bruce Burkitt — Board of Trustees
Robin Burke — Board of Deacons
Judy Fox — Board of Mission & Outreach