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