Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Pearl Harbor kissing photo op, and a Honolulu Marriage Equality march, on the first day of the Supreme Court's Prop 8 hearings.

by Rev. Steve Parelli
March 27, 2031
Aqua Aloha Surf & Spa Hotel
Kanekapolei Street
Honolulu, Hawaii

Steve Parelli, right and Joe Ortiz, MO Battleship,
Pearl Harbor, March 26, 2013,
first day of Supreme Court hearing
on Prop 8.  Steve and Jose were married in
Sacramento, California, on March 25, 2008.
This is our first time to Hawaii, and yesterday was our first full day in the 50th state. 

Jose and I are here celebrating a milestone in my life. I turned 60 years old in January, and this week-long vacation in Hawaii is Jose's birthday gift to me.

We planned two activities for our first day:  Pearl Harbor in the morning and a tour of the Mission House in the late afternoon, a National Historic Site, the site where New England missionaries, in the early 1800s, lived and worked to introduce Christianity to the islands.

What we didn't plan was our participation in the Honolulu Inter-faith Equality March.  We stumbled onto that event.  Following our Mission House tour, we made our way to the huge grounds of the close-by historic Palace.

While walking the Palace grounds, a young man at quite a distance away, kept waving to us to come over. We could make out that he was with a small group with signs of some kind.

"Maybe," I said to Jose, "its a Marriage Equality march." After all, today was the first day of the Supreme Court hearing of Proposition 8, the California ballot box decision that repealed marriage equality in California. Jose and I were married in Sacramento, California, on August 25, 2008.

Honolulu Inter-faith Marriage Equality March,
March 26, 2013.
Throughout the day we had kept ourselves abreast of whatever news we could get on the Washington, DC, events around this historic day, reading articles on our cell phones, while coming and going on the public buses.

At Pearl Harbor, after touring the Missouri Battleship, we posed for a picture, kissing one another, alongside a famous statue of that WW II sailor spontaneously kissing a woman, also in uniform. We made the picture to celebrate, on this first day of the Supreme Court's Proposition 8 hearings, our August 25, 2008, California marriage. It was our way of connecting Hawaii (where the first Marriage Equality battle took place in state courts), with Sacramento (where we were married) with the Supremem Court initial hearings on Proposition 8.  It was our small symbolic way of support.

Honolulu Interfaith Marriage Equaility March,
Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kupono Kwong (center) of
First Unitarian Church of Honolulu,
with Rev. Steve Parelli (left) and Jose Ortiz
March 26, 2013
Little did we know, upon the taking of our symbolic photo of support at the Missouri Battleship, that before the day was over we would be marching in an Iner-faith Honolulu Marriage Equality march in support of overturning Proposition 8.

I wondered what our 1800 New England missionaries to Hawaii would think about Marrige Equality.  After all, our tour-guide said the missionaries did not approve of the Hawaiian hula and were instrumental in legally removing its practice from the islands. 

I felt I knew, however, what Eleanor Roosevelt would think about Marriage Equality.  Overlooking Pearl Harbor there is a quote in stone by the First Lady.  She said something like this that she must now, in view of all who give their lives for our freedom, ask herself if her life is worth dying for.  To live the Golden Rule, wherever we are, is a worthy life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.