The issue of Gay marriage has hit the “Aloha State” like a tsunami in recent weeks. A proposed bill to legalize same-sex marriage has been debated from both sides of the aisle with passion and some controversy for more than a week now.
Public comments in opposition to the bill have seen citizens signing up to speak with fake names, and seeking to address Hawaii’s House Judiciary and Finance Committee more once. Delay tactics have been used frequently to hamper the progress of the bill. But no one could have anticipated the testimony of Tenari Maafala, a Honolulu police officer and, more importantly, the President of Hawaii’s Police Union. According to a piece in today’s Huffington Post, Maafala:
“testified that he would never enforce a law requiring same-sex marriage. “You would have to kill me,” he told the lawmakers. Maafala said that same-sex marriage is contrary to his religious views and, “I stand by my beliefs.”
Now I’ll admit, it took a second or two for the real gravitas of his statement to hit home for me. But consider this carefully: The head of the Police Union publicly told lawmakers he would NOT enforce such a law. He then indicated he would rather die, than enforce a legally instituted law of the state of Hawaii.
Now this immediately brought two separate issues to mind. First, should an officer who refuses to enforce a legal law be terminated? And my answer to that one was an instant, “yes”! I see no need for further discussion or debate on this issue.
The second question is a deeper and more complicated one, and that is, “What kind indoctrination program must this man have been through, to so vehemently and whole-heartedly oppose same-sex marriage?
Recent reports have shown that 70% Americans between the ages of 18 and 32 favor same-sex marriage. This new “Enlightened Generation” gives me hope, but they haven’t had time to rise to positions of power yet, and us old folks are so prejudiced by our superstitions and upbringing, that some of us are (apparently) ready to die for our bigoted “moral” beliefs.
People are now watching the state of Hawaii intently to see how this issue is resolved. Will Hawaiians vote to openly accept same-sex unions and will the state’s motto, “Ua mau ke ea o ka aina I ka pono” ( The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness, be embraced.) or will bigotry and hatred prevail. Officer Maafala, we’re watching you, but we’re also watching the Hawaiiian people as well. I’m hoping for rainbow hued leis for everyone, and I’m betting against the dark clouds of hatred engulfing Mauna Kea.