The human rights community has focused very narrowly on political and civil rights for many decades, and with reason, but now we have to ask how can we broaden the view.
— Paul Farmer

Mission

The purpose of the Social Justice Committee is to address civil rights issues relating to political, educational, social and economic equality, with an emphasis on women's, LGBT+ and minority rights in Hawaiʻi, the U.S. and abroad; to facilitate a free exchange of ideas and views regarding civil rights issues; to provide educational and training opportunities for organizers regarding both the appropriate enforcement of civil rights laws as well as the defense of civil rights claims made on behalf of the people; and to disseminate information on updates, emerging issues and best practices in the civil rights arena.


Regulating Crisis PRegnancy Centers

SB501 and HB663 force crisis pregnancy centers to to disclose the availability of and enrollment information for reproductive health services. Crisis pregnancy centers masquerade as legitimate health care providers. They regularly mislead women about the nature of their pregnancies, their options, and the medical nature of abortions. These centers are designed to coerce women into carrying to term regardless of whether it is in the best interest of the mother or fetus. By requiring them to inform customers about the availability of actual reproductive health services we can ensure that women get qualitatively better care whatever they choose to do.


Outlawing Conversion Therapy On Minors

SB270 and HB880 outlaw the practice of performing conversion therapy in minors. Conversion therapy is hugely unethical. Not only has the American Psychological Association determined that “results of scientifically valid research indicate that it is unlikely that individuals will be able to reduce same-sex attractions or increase other-sex sexual attractions through [conversion therapy]” but it has also shown that children experiencing the parental rejection associated with such therapy are more than eight times as likely to commit suicide, nearly six times more likely to report high levels of depression, more than three times as likely to use drugs and more than three times as likely to be at high risk for HIV and other STDs.


Legalizing Death With Dignity

Death with Dignity presents the option of having a peaceful death for terminally-ill individuals. SB1129 establishes a medical aid in dying act that creates a regulatory process under which an adult resident of the State of Hawaiʻi with a medically confirmed terminal disease may obtain a prescription for medication to be self-administered to end the patient's life. We do not want our loved ones who lived amazing, meaningful lives to end their lives in more suffering than they should- we want our loved ones to be able to be able to experience death not with suffering but with dignity. Everyone should have the right to have autonomy over their own body.  Please visit https://www.deathwithdignity.org/stories/ for personal experiences regarding Death with Dignity.


Require reporting on Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits

SB506 and HB668 require the Attorney General to annually report to the legislature statistical data pertaining to the testing of sexual assault evidence collection kits. the 1990’s, Hawai'i Police Department has destroyed a full 43% of sexual assault evidence kits collected. In addition, a full 90% of all collected kits remain untested. In many cases, evidence collected from these kits is crucial towards securing justice for victims of sexual assault. The retention of sexual assault kit evidence can help police agencies both nationally and internationally to uncover and prosecute serial-rapists to an extent matching the severity of their crimes.


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