Letter to Lingle: ‘We urge you to make HB444 the law’

Letter to the Editor

Hawaii business owners sent the following letter in support of civil unions to Gov. Linda Lingle last week:

Dear Governor Lingle,

We, the undersigned business owners/managers, write to express our support for the enactment of HB 444, Hawaii’s Civil Unions legislation. In a statement following the passage of the bill by the Hawaii State House of Representatives, you explained that you would listen to all sides of the issue and do what you feel is in the best interest of the future of Hawaii. We would like to take this opportunity to express our belief that treating people equally under the law is right for Hawaii’s people and right for our state’s future.

Civil Unions provide necessary protections for couples and families, including rights related to property, state taxes, health care, family leave and adoption. As business owners/managers, we understand how one’s life at home directly affects one’s job performance at work. More times than not, an employee who is struggling to produce the high quality work product that we know they are capable of is distracted by circumstances outside the workplace. Many lesbian and gay couples who have built a family together are still subject to constant concern because they are not treated equally under Hawaii state law.

Many of Hawaii’s top employers offer benefits to the partners of same-sex employees, as do a majority of America’s Fortune 500 companies. In our experience, offering these same types of benefits to employees has increased the ability to attract, recruit, and retain a more talented and diversified workforce. A 2005 Hewitt Association study also found that a majority of employers it surveyed offer benefits to unmarried partners; the majority of these (58 percent) offer benefits to both same-sex and opposite-sex unmarried partners. Finally, demographers have found that the new generation of highly desirable workers are likely to choose where they want to live before looking for a job, and they cite diversity and inclusion as one of the key factors in their decision.

Given the overwhelming evidence that a content workforce is a productive workforce, we urge you to make HB 444 the law in the great state of Hawaii.


Eric Nakayama, Owner, 80% Straight

Joanne Gibeault, Owner, Abracadabra Cabinets, LLC

Dr. Natalie Sowers, , Akamai Foot Doctor

Bill Duval, Owner, Baci Bistro

Blaise Noto, President, Blaise Noto & Associates

John Jacob, Esq., Owner, Caffe Giovannini, LLC, dba Tapa’s

Alicia Carveiro, Owner/CEO, Carveiro’s Construction

Carsie Green, Chef & Partner, Cinnamon’s Restaurant

Chezvis Carveiro, Owner/CEO, DrBombs 360

Jade Li, Publisher, eXpression! Magazine

Joe Bock, Chief Marketing Officer & Counsel, go! Mokulele Mesa Airlines, Inc.

Jerry Chong, President, Graphic Pictures Hawaii

Daniel Meier, Owner, Hawaii Psychology Services

John Jacob, Esq., Principle Broker, Hawaii Real Estate Network, Inc.

Danny Pacheco, President, Island Heritage Realty

Jay DeSilva, Owner/Founder, Jus Karma

Richard Koob, Founder/Director, Kalani Oceanside Retreat Village

Kim Tan, Owner, Kim Tan Hair Replacement

Mike Ang, Owner, MAFotoGrafix

Michael Waddell, Owner and Managing Member, Manu Ahi Group

Olivia Coletti, David Magenheim & Justin Pardo, Market Fresh Bistro

Chuck Spence, Owner, Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort

Jeff Hong, Principle Consultant, Microsoft Consulting Services Hawaii

John Long, Owner, Nitty Gritty Organic Gardening

Freddie Jordan, President, Odyssey Magazine

Kim Hunter, Owner/Publisher, One Voice Publications

Jeff Helminiak, Market Manager – Hawaii, Orbitz Worldwide

Robert Dote, Owner, Over Easy Down Under

Jack Law, President, Pacific Bar Associates dba Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand

Dan McDougal, Owner, Pets Discount / Pets Central

Luciana Yadao, Owner/Founder, Pure N Simple

Barbara Ankersmith, President, QMark Research

Marty Guerriero, Owner, Relax Therapeutic Massage

Ross Uehara-Tilton, Owner, RRKUT Enterprises

Deb Zelnick, Owner, Rubber Stamp Plantation

Mizdebz DeSilva Carveiro, Owner/CEO/Founder, Shhhhhhh International

Jesus Puerto, Owner, Soul de Cuba

Alfonso Tirado, Owner, The Taco Shack

Greg Hamman, Owner, Undersea Expeditions LLC

Kevin Kaneshiro, Sales & Promotions Manager, Vacations-Hawaii