Supporting the LGBTQ+ community to prevent discrimination

Posted on Jun 27, 2022 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main
Governor Ige, legislators and LGBTQ+ community supporters gather at Bishop Museum.

Governor Ige, legislators and LGBTQ+ community supporters gather at Bishop Museum.

Governor Ige has signed three bills that support the LGBTQ+ community on a multitude of levels. The bills are HB 2405, which prohibits insurance providers from excluding gender affirming treatments when they are medically necessary; SB 2136, which ensures that gender identity or expression can’t be a reason for excluding a citizen from jury service; and SB 2670, which establishes the Hawai‘i state Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Plus Commission on a permanent basis.

The event took place at Bishop Museum, which is hosting a special exhibit and documentary, “The Healer Stones of Kapemahu.” The film and exhibition explore the past and contemporary meanings of four large stones that were long ago placed on Waikīkī Beach to honor four māhū, extraordinary individuals of dual male and female spirit, who brought healing arts from Tahiti to Hawai‘i. The exhibit will be on view at Bishop Museum through Oct. 23, 2022.

“The Healer Stones of Kapemahu” exhibition at Bishop Museum runs through Oct. 23.

“The Healer Stones of Kapemahu” exhibition at Bishop Museum runs through Oct. 23.

“This exhibit explores our past and highlights the fact that native Hawaiians held a special, respected place for citizens of dual identities,” said the governor. “We are here today, not only to acknowledge that rich history, but also to signify we’re moving forward, restoring our efforts to be a more inclusive community.”

Sen. Chris Lee and Rep. Adrian Tam both spoke of the need for Hawai‘i to set a positive example at a time when some other states have passed laws vilifying LGBTQ+ youth and their parents. Lee said, “This is about rejecting the politics of division and discrimination and reaffirming for Hawai‘i that everyone deserves the same respect and aloha.” Tam added, “My hope is that we send a strong message to our youth that Hawai‘i stands with them and that we love them.”

Read more in the July Capitol Connection newsletter.

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