Citizens Group Announces Hawai‘i Equal Rights Book

Media Release:

Plans to publish a Hawai‘i Equal Rights Book were announced today by Citizens for Equal Rights (CFER) who led the effort to get House Bill 444 voted on before the legislature adjourned.

Pictured: (Left to right) Suzanne King, Kat Brady and Rachel Orange of Citizens for Equal Rights at the State Capitol on April 26th, delivering first edition copies of the booklet to House representatives.

The book is a compilation of photos of people who have already lent their names and photos to the booklets and ads that were produced in support of HB444. Others who have signed up since the bill was passed as well as those who may now wish to demonstrate their support of HB444 can also submit their names and photos over the next ten days if they wish to be included.

“CFER decided to publish this commemorative book because it’s a way of honoring the many people across the state who are ready to stand up for equal rights and be associated with this historic bill.” said CFER president Rachel Orange. “In just ten days before the House voted on HB444, over a thousand people sent in their photos for our equal rights supporters booklet.”

Pictured: Rep. Blake Oshiro (wearing an orange lei) meets with fellow legislators during a caucus before HB444 passed on the last day of the legislative session.

“A key factor that shifted the political landscape for HB444 was CFER’s successful effort in having community and faith leaders publicly support the civil unions bill,” said Rep. Blake Oshiro. CFER’s newspaper ads of prominent leaders and booklet of supporters helped bolster the confidence of many house members who already supported HB444.

Citizens for Equal Rights plans to publish the book before the Memorial Day weekend, and has set a May 21 deadline for submission of photos. Supporters of equal rights and the civil unions bill should email their photo, name, and affiliation to equality808@gmail.com.

“CFER is all about positive change. It’s a simple stand for equality,” said Kat Brady, CFER’s vice-president. “We believe the Equal Rights Book is an opportunity for people in the community to show their support for equal rights, while respecting the sincerely held beliefs of those who oppose civil unions.”

“No matter what Governor Lingle decides on HB444, I believe the community should come together to seek understanding and mutual respect,” said Sen. Les Ihara, Jr. “Efforts like this commemorative book help to put a human face on the civil unions debate and remind us that people of all viewpoints share a common desire to seek the best for our community.”

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