Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Join Equal Rights Rally at the Capitol, 3:30 p.m. today

If same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land, its implications will go far beyond the relationship of this or that couple. There will be long term and definitive changes in our entire culture.Larry Silva, Bishop of Honolulu, 8/22/2013

by Larry Geller

The pull-quote above is from a letter “to all Catholics” distributed on August 22 by Bishop Larry Silva on diocese letterhead. I’ll have to admit to enjoying the ability to quote the Bishop out of context.

Of course, his letter reflects the position of the Catholic Church that those “long term and definitive changes” would not be beneficial

The Bishop’s letter encourages more than just prayer, social action is needed. As such, his advice might be constructively applied to both sides of this (or other) political arguments.  If we want to achieve social change in today’s world, it’s as important as ever to take action, not just rely on prayer.

I suggest that going down to the State Capitol for today’s rally or for future rallies and demonstrations is one way to do that. Or take the Bishop’s advice when contacting legislators:

Be understanding and loving toward those who do not agree with you – even Catholic legislators who have committed to vote for same-sex marriage. Pray for a change of heart and the formation of an informed conscience, and let your love be the most powerful agent of change. After all, God is love!

Ok, loving our legislators may be a stretch for some, even if the word is meant to be interpreted in an ethical rather than an emotional sense. But the point is not to assume one can simply pray, whether in a church or from behind a keyboard, and expect that something will happen.

Equal rights in marriage law will not happen without a fight. So far, the struggle has been both peaceful and successful. I hope, anyway, that after Hawaii falls into line with the federal government and the increasing number of other states that recognize same-sex marriage, even a Catholic Bishop will learn to accept what others have interpreted as God’s will, or at least as the supremacy of civil justice over religious dogma. No, he would never put it that way, but sooner or later reality must set in.

There’s also no doubt that the struggle is not yet done in Hawaii. That’s why it’s important that there be a supportive turnout at today’s and future rallies. 

It seems to me a better deal if the Governor calls a special session than if we prolong the strife into the next regular session. Let’s get on with it, this needs to happen, and it will if many of us show our support.

See you at the State Capitol at 3:30 today.


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