Hawaii Business Roundtable may have inadvertently helped civil unions

Timothy Kincaid

June 24th, 2010

When Greg Kai sent a letter on Hawaii Business Roundtable letterhead asking Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle to veto the state’s civil unions bill, he probably thought that he was giving the impression that he was speaking for the state’s business community. But his letter did not go unchallenged. (Star Advertiser)

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay civil rights group, which is based in Washington, D.C., sent two activists to the islands to help respond to the Roundtable’s veto request.

Tony Wagner, the Human Rights Campaign’s western regional field director, said the group had initially targeted contacts at national companies that are members of the Roundtable. Five national companies — including Starwood, Time Warner and Marriott — publicly broke with the Roundtable last Thursday.

“Once the snowball starting rolling, then we started hearing from a number of other companies that were represented on (the Roundtable),” Wagner said.

In all, more than 20 companies and executives responded. (Pacific Business News)

After that letter circulated, at least 20 HBR members distanced themselves from the HBR’s veto recommendation, including Time Warner Cable and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.

Now Kai is trying to assert that the Roundtable “opposes any form of discrimination, including based on race, religion, political or sexual orientation” and has taken no position on civil unions. It’s all about the “technical issues”, he’s still trying to claim, but the organization members aren’t happy that Kai’s technical concerns are giving them a PR nightmare.

I think it will be a long time before Mr. Kai again attempts to use his employment with the Hawaii Business Roundtable to engage in anti-gay activism.

And in the meanwhile the public perception is that, unlike Mr. Kai, the business community in Hawaii has no problem with HB444, the civil unions bill.

Lindoro Almaviva

June 24th, 2010

I wonder how much longer he will be welcomed at the table, or even be employed by it(if he is).

Shane Nunn

June 24th, 2010

Hawaii Business Leaders Speak Out For Civil Unions Bill

Business push comes after Hawaii Business Roundtable opposes bill contrary to their members’ stances

http://www.hrc.org/14579.htm

Aloha!

Thank you for your recent inquiry. Oceanic Time Warner Cable did not
support the actions of the Hawaii Business Round Table. Several
companies in Hawaii, including Oceanic Time Warner Cable disagreed with
the action. The full news report can be read here:

http://www.hrc.org/14579.htm

Thank you for being an Oceanic Time Warner Cable Customer!

Mahalo,
Nick S. #1698
Oceanic Time Warner Cable
643-2100

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