For the 2017 Legislative Session the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i will be focusing on several different areas, as you will see listed below that we believe are all tied to justice & equality.
- Strong support for banning conversion therapy (HB 800, HB 1266 & SB 270); conversion therapy is the false idea that one can change someone’s sexual orientation through therapy/counseling. The Democratic Party of Hawai‘i along with the American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American School Counselor Association, & the National Association of Social Workers have all come out against conversion therapy. California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington, DC have all passed laws banning this barbaric practice. In New York, Governor Cuomo has banned conversion therapy by changes in their State’s regulations.
- Strong support for to ensure that same-sex couples have the same access for In Vitro Fertilization Insurance Coverage as their opposite-sex couples counterparts already have available to them. (HB 664 & SB 502)
- We support all compassionate efforts to help with the houseless crisis facing our state. We will be advocating to ensure that all plans take into account the specific needs of the LGBT community. We feel the State needs to address the fact that 40% of the houseless youth identify as member of the LGBT community and it is currently illegal to establish a shelter for houseless unaccompanied minors.
We realize there is no silver bullet to this crisis but there needs to be a multi-prong approach that includes increases to workforce & affordable housing, more support for social services (mental health and substance abuse), stop criminalizing being houseless and addressing income inequality.
- We support increasing the minimum wage to a living wage as income inequality disproportionately impacts the LGBT community.
- LGBT employees continue to face widespread discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
- We support laws banning sex/human trafficking, while making sure that the laws do not persecute consensual sex workers. We recognize there is a need for education to understand the difference between sex trafficking and consensual sex workers.