Hawaii State Senate
Hawaii State Senate
Ban Conversion Therapy for Minors in Hawai'i
Currently in the Aloha State, conversion therapy for minors is legal. Conversion therapy is the barbaric "therapy" treatment aimed at converting lesbians and gays to heterosexuality as well as transgender individuals to the gender they were miss-assigned at birth. Such treatments are and have been criticized as a form of pseudoscience and torture. By banning conversion therapy for minors will help ensure that LGBT youth know that their sexual orientation and/or gender identity are fine just the way they are and there is nothing to "fix". Here are the side effects from conversion therapy:Depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame, social withdrawal, suicidality, substance abuse, stress, disappointment, self-blame, decreased self-esteem and authenticity to others, hostility and blame toward parents, increased self-hatred, feelings of anger and betrayal, loss of friends and potential romantic partners, problems in sexual and emotional intimacy, sexual dysfunction, high-risk sexual behaviors, a feeling of being dehumanized and untrue to self, a loss of faith, and a sense of having wasted time and resources. We need Hawai'i to join the other states that have banned conversion therapy. Those laws are court tested and U.S. Supreme Court approved! The American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American School Counselor Association, and the National Association of Social Workers have all come out against conversion therapy. This is why we are asking the Hawai'i State Legislature to ban conversion therapy for minors.
Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!
I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years, one-third in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered amerasian children, and descendants, of U.S. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. Filipino Amerasians are abandoned and neglected biracial children of Filipino mothers and American fathers (mostly members of the US armed forces). In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. As a former US colony between 1898 and 1946, the Philippines was home to millions of US soldiers and their dependents, even after its independence. Until 1992, the country hosted two of the largest US military facilities outside the US – Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base, which played major roles during the Vietnam and first Gulf wars. In 1982 US Public Law 97-359, or the Amerasian Act of 1982, allowed children from Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand to move to the US and eventually become American citizens, but those who were from the Philippines were excluded from the law, an exclusion which was upheld by the US Senate on the basis that many Filipino Amerasians were “conceived from illicit affairs and prostitution”, and were born during peacetime. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. service members who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2018, HR 1520, creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Currently, blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children. John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the life and the personal struggles as a Filipino amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggles to connect to their American military families. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017, HR 1520, now!
Remove the penalty that prevents people with disabilities from marrying!
When we think of marriage equality, we think about the ongoing fight LGBT couples face, but another minority group must deal with the stark reality that they are better off living in long-term committed relationships, without marriage. Like LGBT couples, these couples are denied the right to over 1,100 rights afforded to married couples. They have been denied access into their loved ones hospital rooms, faced family disputes over wills and have been denied spousal benefits from their partners workplace or the government in the event of their partners death. These are people with disabilities. Many people rely on the government for medical and financial assistance. Without medical insurance they would have no way to live independently. They would be forced into nursing homes (some already are), which would cost the government significantly more than getting Medicare and/or Medicaid does. At the same time, this assistance comes with a price. The government expects married couples to share income and that affects any assistance the couple receives. For many, their spouse makes too much (even if they make meager SSDI payments). This cuts into the healthcare services these couples receive. For some, their able-bodied partners make too much to allow them to qualify for medical assistance, if married, but not enough to pay out of pocket for costly medical equipment, medicine, or any other needs the disabled partner has. Add in the fact that even when a person with a disability can work, the opportunity for quality medical insurance is hard to find, due to their pre-existing condition and you will understand why many couples with disabilities are forced to live in domestic partnerships. Also, if two people with disabilities marry and they are on SSI or SSDI, their payments are CUT significantly, making it hard for them to maintain independence and afford their own food, shelter, clothing or other necessities. The time to stand up is now!! Let your Senators and Representatives know you want to remove the income caps placed on individuals with disabilities, so they can keep the government assistance and still be able to get married. Every loving couple deserves the right to marry. No one should have to choose between their wheelchair and their love, their therapy and their love, their medication and their love, their ability to eat or have a roof over their head and their love!! Those are not choices!! Help make it possible for those with disabilities to share their love without being penalized!Join our fight for marriage equality for people with disabilities:https://www.facebook.com/MarriageEqualityForPeopleWithDisabilities
Call for Blue States to Move On
What happened to make this country the focus of judgment, laughter, and fear from the rest of the world? The industrialized world outside of the United States enjoys a better quality of life and general happiness that most of us can only imagine. First class education, comprehensive health care, clean food/water/air and an overall better relationship with their fellow citizens. And as a country, we have higher mortality rates at younger ages, poorer health, and an impoverished population who can't learn new skills without going deeper into debt. As much as we like to blame Donald Trump for our national problems; these problems were here before him, and they will still be here if Trump is removed from office tomorrow. We have a political system that centralizes power to a consolidated political center in Washington, DC and an economic center in New York City. Our Electoral System will isolate the power to determine the direction of our political system to a very small, easily manipulated portion of the electorate in a strategic location.Worst of all, we have a large portion of the population who will empower a mentally unstable man to the highest office in the world; just so they can say “We Won”. This group is constantly complaining about a simply lost world with plentiful jobs in their communities. And now, they have the nerve to complain about losing the federal government programs they benefited from and voted against.It's time we said “ENOUGH” and have Progressive States and Communities band together and share resources and ideas to provide a better quality of life for its people, that the Trump Administration wants to take away. And furthermore, we need to ensure that we only support States and Communities who will change their policies for its people. We can no longer provide assistance to the Red States, just so they can abuse and neglect their citizens for business interests. For the future of this nation, we need to explore every legal method possible to protect the people from an extremely dangerous President Trump. A Values-Based Alliance of the States (VBAS) is one way of resisting this new reality of government, and the dangerous changes that we all know are inevitable. I understand that the constitution will not allow us to directly stop this monstrosity, but it will allow us to devalue it. A VBAS of certain states with similar values and policy preferences can and will use its population centers and economic influence to co-op, share resources, and implement policies with other co-opted states, while not having to depend on or engage the federal government. Examples: There are certain states with a majority of people that believe single-payer healthcare system (CA, MA, VT, NY, WA, OR, IL, HI.). If those states passed laws to provide single payer health care for its people, a Single Payer Healthcare VBAS organization of those states can share resources to improve efficiencies, expand medical training/education amongst the co-opted states, negotiate pharmaceutical/treatment, amend needed tax policies and petition the US Government. This would also force neighboring states to decide if they want to change their internal policies to provide single payer, so they can join the Health Care VBAS. A resident of Indiana might ask his state to join the VBAS because he could literally see his next-door neighbor in Illinois fully covered, and using a Doctor that just came back from his training at a medical school in California.Although the VBAS states cannot legally sign the Paris accords, they can change their internal policies to abide by its recommendations. There could be an environmental protection VBAS, where the states involved agree to abide by the Paris accords, improve safety protocols within its states, take climate change seriously, and provide economic preference to states and nations that do the same. CA, OR, NY, MA, VT, WA HI, and NV could agree to be a preferred customer of states or nations that voluntarily reduce its carbon emissions and address climate change, instead of LA or TX, which most likely will not.Other issues could include minimum wage, education, trade agreements, gun control and virtually every policy not adjudicated solely by the federal government.As more VBASes are organized and more states agree to join them, Donald Trump and the ignorance of future presidents become less and less relevant. Please sign this petition and pass it on to as many people as possible.
Pass Safe Harbor & End Demand for Prostitution Laws in Hawaii
Currently, Hawaii has no protocol to legally detain juveniles rescued from prostitution without criminalizing them. The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (PASS) is urging the Hawaii State Legislature to pass legislation to help child trafficking victims to proper rehabilitative and healing services rather than to incarceration. PASS is also urging the legislature to pass an End Demand Bill (SB192/HB1066 and SB194) which seek to increase penalties for patrons of prostitution/sex-trafficking, commonly referred to as “johns.” The existing grade of offense for johns is a petty misdemeanor, equivalent to the fine of remaining in a public park after hours. The penalty for the offense of fueling prostitution/sex-trafficking, by providing the demand, has not been updated in Hawaii since the law was created in the early 70s. Please help Hawaii pass these bills because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Help us stop the growth of child-trafficking in America. FACTS: Hawaii’s incarceration rate of juvenile girls exceed the national average. Of these offenses, about 35% are runaways. Hawaii has one of the highest rates of intrafamilial sexual abuse (or incest) and also has one of the highest attempted teen suicide rates in the nation. There are approximately 300 children reported missing in Hawaii per month. There are no law enforcement stats for child sex-trafficking because of the lack of a state sex-trafficking law. Earlier this year, Shared Hope International rated Hawaii second worst in the nation in protecting child victims of sex trafficking by law. // // // //
Promise To Our Keiki
Back in September, Leah and I drafted a proposal for a bill called Promise to Our Keiki under The Plastics Project. Today, our team met with a few state representatives to pitch the proposal. We need one representative to champion our initiative and turn it into a bill that they would submit to possibly become a law. The bill currently proposes 3 things to be mandated by law: Every incoming flight to Hawaii be required to play an educational PSA video that teaches about Hawaii's ENDANGERED and ENDEMIC WILDLIFE and LAWS pertaining to them, OCEAN CONSERVATION, RESPECTING OUR AINA and CULTURAL SITES, and SAFETY Educational cards regarding these topics be placed in the seatbacks of all incoming flights All visitors sign the Promise to Our Keiki Pledge with Hawaii's declaration forms upon arrival to Hawaii Check us out on Facebook, Instagram and on our website: www.PromiseToOurKeiki.orgSTATE OF HAWAII A BILL TO ESTABLISH ACCOUNTABILITY TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE ENDANGERED AND ENDEMIC HAWAIIAN WILDLIFE THROUGH THE “PROMISE TO OUR KEIKI" PLEDGE “PROMISE TO OUR KEIKI BILL” PREPARED BY LEAH MAHEALANI DAKROUB & RYLEE BROOKE KAMAHELE SEPTEMBER 10, 2018 I. INTRODUCTION We hereby submit a proposal with the purpose and intent to request that our state provide increased protection to ensure the sustainability of our endangered and endemic wildlife, Hawaiian cultural sites, natural habitats, and Hawaii’s ocean and marine life for Hawaii’s youth (keiki) and future generations. II. INTENTION Our intention is to propose a new law requiring visitors to sign a pledge in which they agree to abide by the laws that protect our endangered and endemic Hawaiian wildlife before entering the State of Hawaii. This includes but is not limited to; Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, Hawaiian Hoary Bats, Hawaiian Hawks, Hawaiian Monk Seals, Crested Honeycreepers, the Nene Goose and Oahu Tree Snail. The pledge will also extend to having visitors acknowledge and agree to respect our islands in regards to ocean, land, and natural resource conservation, Hawaiian cultural sites, and safety during their visit. SECTION I - EDUCATIONAL VIDEO ON ALL INBOUND FLIGHTS Hawaii Tourism Authority to create a PSA for airlines to play for all arrival passengers into the State of Hawaii. The video should encompass not only endangered and endemic wildlife but also conservation of our islands resources including but not limited to ocean and hiking safety. SECTION II - DECLARATION FORM State of Hawaii to issue each passenger, upon arrival into Hawaii, a “Promise to Our Keiki Pledge” presented as a declaration form. Visitors would be required to sign the form upon arrival on all international and domestic incoming flights into the State of Hawaii. By signing and making a formal promise to the Children of Hawaii, visitors agree to preserve and protect Hawaii’s beautiful and unique island home by following the laws that protect our endangered species and by acknowledging a behavior standard as set forth in the educational PSA video. The forms are to be collected by airline personnel from all incoming passengers and signature forms should be submitted to DLNR. SECTION III All airlines flying to the Hawaiian Islands will be required to provide a 2-sided laminated educational brochure about Hawaii’s endangered wildlife (similar to airline safety cards) that would remain in all seatback pockets for passengers to access. This card will provide information on each endangered and endemic animal as well as the law that protects them and the punishment for not abiding by these laws. SECTION IV Failure to complete the form should be a misdemeanor that carries a maximum $10,000 fine. This should be printed on the declaration forms. III. SUMMARY 3 parts of the Promise to our Keiki Bill: 1. Laminated educational cards in all seatback pockets on all incoming flights to Hawaii2. Mandatory educational PSA video played on all incoming flights to Hawaii3. The Promise to Our Keiki Pledge and declaration form to be completed by passengers on all incoming flights to Hawaii Hawaii already makes up less than 0.2% of U.S. land, but over 25% of species found on the nation’s endangered species list are endemic to Hawaii, earning it the rather unflattering title of the “endangered species capital of the world.” according to a report by Unreal Hawaii. According to Honolulu Civil Beat, “On average, nearly one tourist dies a week in Hawaii typically while engaged in a common vacation activity such as swimming, snorkeling, and hiking. Many more suffer serious injuries including spinal cord damage and Hawaii’s rate of drowning per visitor is 13 times the national average. Critics say the state doesn’t do enough to warn its 8 million annual visitors.” We hope by requiring visitors to sign a pledge to protect Hawaii’s endangered wildlife and addressing other concerns to preserve our islands and protect visitors, we will create a cultural shift among tourists and locals and make them aware of the fragility of our island home.