Honolulu bishop says discrimination against gay couples is ‘just’

Bishop Larry Silva

Bishop Larry Silva

Honolulu’s Catholic Bishop Larry Silva has issued an “urgent” appeal against same-sex marriage in Hawaii, arguing that discrimination against gay couples is “just.”

In a 1,200 word letter, Silva asked Catholics to pray the rosary daily over the next several weeks, “if possible” while walking around the state Capitol block, “so that just as God tumbled down the walls of Jericho, he will be able to do so through the prayers and action of his beloved people.”

Bishop Larry Silva

In the letter, included in parish bulletins over the weekend, Silva draws a distinction between “unjust discrimination” and what he describes as a “just” form of legal discrimination to protect what he sees as the true nature of marriage.

“Unjust discrimination against them (gays and lesbians) is not acceptable,” writes Silva. “However, not all discrimination — that is, making distinctions — is unjust. We discriminate quite justly between adults and minors, even though both have equal dignity.

“We justly discriminate between those who are married and those who are not, because marriage is a special societal bond that assures the continuation of the race in the context of raising children in the loving environment that appreciate the complimentary nature of male and female.”


“To discriminate between heterosexual and same-sex couples regarding marriage is not, despite the hype on the streets, unjust discrimination.”

The bishop’s appeal comes as Gov. Neil Abercrombie considers calling a special session of the Hawaii state Legislature to take up the issue.

On Wednesday, Abercrombie and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz headlined a gay marriage rally in Honolulu timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Earlier this month, more than two dozen Hawaii faith leaders of various religions signed a resolution calling the state to legalize same-sex marriage.

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