Political Radar


November 4th, 2013

State Rep. Kaniela Ing said Monday that he could have chosen his words more carefully when he referred to some of the testimony against marriage equality as "pilau" in a Facebook post. But the Maui representative said his comment was taken out of context.

The Hawaii Christian Coalition has been circulating Ing's comment and it has been mentioned on Monday by several people testifying on the bill before the House Judiciary Committee and the House Finance Committee.

From Ing:

I am frustrated by a context-shredding smear tactic that a small group of SB1 testifiers have used on a recent comment that I made to help uplift a distraught friend.

Last week, a friend of mine fell victim to direct and hateful insults during the sb1 hearing, just because he happened to be gay.

This is something that I refuse to stand by and let happen.

He wrote about the incident both publically and via private message on Facebook and was clearly distraught. I wrote to assure him that everything will be alright. Looking back, I could have chosen my words more carefully, but I assumed it would be okay since both sides of the debate agree that hate is intolerable.

Shortly after however, a photo of the post was created and circulated by a certain special-interest group with the entire context cropped or blurred out. This created the illusion that I was calling all opposing testifiers (not just the words of the specific bullies) "pilau" and speaking on behalf of the House (and not just standing with his other Facebook friends who also had his back).

No matter what side you are on, acts of civic dishonesty--stealing testifier sheets, misrepresenting statements, and smudging names--have no place in Hawaii and will only further divide our society.

While it is essential to a healthy democratic process to passionately and vigorously express our opinions, I ask that we stick to the merits of the bill and refrain from any personal attacks. Because no matter where you stand on this bill, gay-bashing and God-bashing, both are indeed pilau--and there's no way to spin that.

My comments were severely edited down and presented without context and the true story. Because of this, I apologize if people were misled by my intentions.

I'm still trying my best to listen with all my energy and heart, and I'm seeking a solution that will address equality of rights while preserving freedom of religion. This was only an isolated incident, and I have been encouraged by testifiers on both sides of the debate who have been generally very positive and civil. Let's continue to conduct this discussion with the utmost aloha and respect.

14 Responses to “`Pilau'”

  1. Keith Rollman:

    It would be helpful if Rep. Ing would reveal the actual "hateful insult" he is referencing, so we don't have to take his word for it.

  2. Grant:

    @Keith Rollman: The Hawaii Christian Coalition can provide that for you. It seems like you would trust them over the Representative.

  3. Keith Rollman:

    I just want to see what was actually said, so I can decide the level of pilau-ness for myself. I'd be happy to take the Rep.'s word for the exact insult that caused him to react. I did ask others and nobody knows what he's talking about.

  4. inoaole:

    nothing new about this. Christians shaming Hawaiians for using the Hawaiian language.

  5. ohiaforest3400:

    Mr. Rollman, it is commendable that you want to get the facts and decide for yourself.

    To that end, perhaps you should read the following and reconsider your position that the electorate was somehow "snookered" in 1998, or at least reconsider who did the snookering.

    The constitutional amendment that was approved in November 1998 was proposed by a bill (HB 117) that passed the legislature in 1997, a full 18 months earlier. Its purpose section states, in relevant part, that:

    "The legislature finds that the unique social institution of marriage involving the legal relationship of matrimony between a man and a woman is a protected relationship of fundamental and unequaled importance to the State, the nation, and society. The legislature further finds that the question of whether or not the State should issue marriage licenses to couplers of the same sex is a fundamental policy issue to be decided by the elected representatives of the people. This constitutional measure is thus designed to confirm that he legislature has the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples and to ensure that THE LEGISLATURE WILL REMAIN OPEN TO THE PETITIONS OF THOSE WHO SEEK TO CHANGE THE MARRIAGE LAWS, AND THAT SUCH PETITIONERS CAN BE CONSIDERED ON AN EQUAL BASIS WITH THOSE WHO OPPOSE A CHANGE IN THE CURRENT MARRIAGE STATUTES." (emphasis added)

    There was not and never has been any secret that the legislature was constitutionally reserving to itself the power to define marriage and that it likewise reserved the power to revisit the issue, which is exactly what it is now doing.

    Unless, of course, you want to stick your head in the sand and pretend otherwise. If the voters were snookered in 1998, the snookering was conducted by those who pushed so hard for passage of the amendment, knowing exactly what the amendment said and did, but not telling the truth to the sheep in their flock.

  6. innocent observer:

    many of the opponents of marriage equality claim that SB 1 is "redefining" marriage. the word redefine gives the impression that the definition of marriage is completely altered or changed to a different meaning. believe the better term is that SB 1, "expanded" the definition of marriage to include gay marriages, as the marriage of one man and on women has not been changed.

  7. Keith Rollman:

    Ohia-that wasn't the topic, but I'll bite.

    The Office of Elections, in their public notice advertising, and voter instructions stated the "meaning of a 'yes' vote" was to "...give the Legislature the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples ONLY."

    The word ONLY was presented in the instructions and notice, but was deleted from the ballot. This can be interpreted by a reasonable person to be bait and switch fraud. In either event, the public was led to believe that this was an up/down vote on same-sex marriage. The "sheep" were not mislead by their pastors, they were misled by the State of Hawaii.

  8. Sharlene A Tuitavuki:

    I helped in the effort to defeat the ERA before leaving Hawaii in 1979 for California. "Equality" was emotionally argued for then as it is now. We are awash in a tidal wave of social engineering never experienced before in America. Hawaiians love, regardless of "sexual orientation". One of my closest friends is gay. His lifestyle choice is abhorrent to me but doesn't diminish our friendship. Love the person, not the behavior. Californians voted twice to uphold traditional marriage but Brown and yes, the liberal dominated legislature and gay judge shredded 65% of the people's lawful mandate. Hawaiians weren't afforded a direct vote. LGBT advocates knew that with time a liberal dominated legislature would unleash their power and force Hawaii to bend their way. But its not inevitable. Band together! Speak up, stand up for what is based upon correct principles. Be ready for the mudslinging and character assassination to come (homophobic, backward thinking). Remember that no amount of legislation can change this immutable natural law: it takes a man and a woman to create human life. To my gay friends: continue loving and caring for each other because lacking the "pepa"- marriage certificate won't change that. In 1979 ERA supporters believed it was all sewn up but oh how wrong were they!

  9. Kris:

    I want to know what the "hateful insult" was too, and I would also like clarification on when he posted his response. When I first heard about the picture being circulated, I thought no ways it's real, no ways hewould he be that dumb to choose that kind of wording in a time as sensitive as this. And I defended him. Kind of bummed to be wrong. I'm also bummed he's trying to pass blame on who ever hurt his friends feelings. Don't succumb to bullying because you felt your friend was being bullied. As ADULTS were supposed to be setting examples on how to be respectful, which includes showing respect where it's not due. Also bummed in his apology he starts pointing fingers at civic dishonesty and such. If you're gonna apologize, just say you're sorry and leave it at that. We all read the news, we all know what's going on. Don't feed rumors and gossip. Stand on your own strength and integrity.

  10. Auto de Fe:

    Kanela Ing Upset by 'Assassination' of Osama bin Laden:


    Quotes from Ing:

    All this coverage of these celebrations following Bin Laden’s murder is making me sick: Rednecks in stars and stripe bandanas on their heads chanting “U.S.A. U.S.A”….

    I think it remains essential for Americans to keep in mind that Bin Laden was an effective leader in many contexts– across organizations and national borders. … many respectable Middle-easterners followed the man.

    His attack on 9/11 was political, it was not solely meant to spark a holy war. Despite American media’s tendency to pidgin-hole (sic) Bin Laden into the irrational Muslim extremist pool, he was fundamental in leading a movement against the American crusade of forced democracy in the middle-east: an issue extending far beyond clashing faiths….

    THAT is part of the reason why he attacked–not just because we were perceived as a Christian (or at least non-Muslim) nation, but because he was against the (now proving to be grossly ineffective) Americana societal ideal of a democratic republic rooted in capitalism being constantly shoved down his people’s throats throughout the past half-century. To raise our flags and chant in jubilant celebration of his death acts is a testament to our arrogance, pretension, and naivety–its a signal to the rest of the world that our societal values prevail and that our crusades will press on.

    The bottom line is this was no true victory….

  11. Especially Incognito:

    Learn the true meaning of Ha'ole.
    Same thing when words are not understood.

  12. Especially Incognito:

    1) Stinky, Rotten (of hawaiian origin)
    2) refering to rude, illmannered, inconsiderate behavior
    Those white trash boys are just pilau, throwing rubbish
    out the window playing that LOUD irritating "boom-boom" music
    throughout the neighborhood, let alone yelling and acting obnoxious. PILAU!" Urban Dictionary on the word Pilau.

    "The Hawaiian word for an unpleasant odor. More specifically, the act of stinking.
    Ho, Brah! Whend da last time you wen wash yo bibadees? Da bugga is HAUNA!" Urban Dictionary on the word Hauna.

  13. ohiaforest3400:

    Mahalo, Mr. Rollman for biting, even off-topic; it was on-topic a few posts back but we had moved on.

    That being said, I don't think your argument holds up logically, legally, or equitably, even if it is a powerful rhetorical one.

    Logically, it makes no sense. Nothing was "deleted", fraudulently or otherwise. The legislature wrote the question to appear on the ballot and that question appeared on the ballot exactly as it was written by the legislature.

    Legally, your argument appears to be that the explanation by the Office of Elections somehow changed the question and that the vote was on the explanation, not the question (?). If so, your grammar is as bad as your boss' spelling. The amendment was deemed necessary by the proponents because the constitution -- as then worded and interpreted by the courts -- did not permit such a reservation. The presence of the word "only" explains that the legislature could reserve marriage "only" to opposite-sex couples. However, use of that word does not change the fact that the amendment -- as explained by the Office of Elections and as worded on the ballot -- gave that power to the legislature but did not require the legislature to exercise it, or prevent it from reconsidering a decision to do, just as it said it could do in the future and is, in fact, doing now.

    Equitably, your argument amounts to sitting on your hands for 15 years of marriage being limited to opposite-sex couples and raising a "flaw" in the voter approval process only when it appears that the legislature may do exactly what it said it would do -- and what the amendment authorized it to do: reconsider any decision it made to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. If the process was flawed, it was flawed then and you should have raised it then.

    Great rhetorical argument, 'tho. Perfect for the red-meat hungry voters in Ewa Beach.

  14. Especially Incognito:

    People should find a place
    and if they don't like it, let's duel.
    rand paul.

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