By Kathryn Xian – Hawaii should hold a special session to ensure there is marriage equality in Hawaii.
Homophobic messages from church groups opposing legalization create an environment among religious congregations, ripe for abuse and rejection of LGBT-identified children. It is spiritually wounding for youth, who have grown up in Christian households, to be told that God hates them because of their sexual identity.
And it is abusive when an LGBT-identified child is also rejected by his or her own family, promoted by religious homophobia. A large percentage of homeless youth are LGBT-identified, leaving them more vulnerable than their peers to homelessness, sexual exploitation, exclusion from education, poverty, drug abuse, and suicide.
Time is of the essence to prevent these harms by recreating our faith-based communities as more accepting and supportive of LGBT youth.
This is just one of the many reasons why a special legislative session on Marriage Equality is so important to the well-being of our broken community.
Not only will this send a clear message that our state is inclusive of all people regardless of their sexual identities, but that Hawaii protects the minority from the tyranny of the majority in matters of equality.
Kathryn Xian is the executive director for Girl Fest Hawaii