HRC Asserts Christian Coalition Breaking Hawaiian Fund-Raising Laws In Anti-Gay Campaign

WASHINGTON -- Protect Our Constitution and Protect Our Constitution/Human Rights Campaign, the two groups fighting the anti-gay ballot measure in Hawaii, have filed a formal complaint today with the Campaign Spending Commission. The groups charge that the Christian Coalition and its local affiliate, the Hawaii Christian Coalition, is blatantly flouting Hawaii campaign spending laws.

"The Christian Coalition is not above the law and has no special right to ignore Hawaii's rules on campaign spending. The citizens of Hawaii ought to be concerned when religious activist groups, like the Christian Coalition, believe they can brazenly disregard laws in their effort to impose their narrow views on Hawaii citizens," said HRC communications director and senior strategist David M. Smith.

The state legislature has placed a question on the ballot for the November election, to determine whether the Hawaii constitution should be amended to grant the legislature the power to limit marriages to opposite sex couples. This has brought in a flood of religious political activist groups who want to export intolerance into Hawaii.

Under the Hawaii campaign spending law, any group who raises more than $1,000 in support of a ballot question must register and file reports with the Campaign Spending Commission. Neither the Christian Coalition nor the Hawaii Christian Coalition, have registered. Yet, these groups have embarked on a full-fledged electronic fund-raising appeal with explicit instructions on how to give money by credit card. The Christian Coalition is even electronically soliciting cash from overseas to help raise the $1.5 million they believe is needed to buy this referendum. Posted on the Hawaii Christian Coalition web site, in boldface type it says, "Foreign Checks Also Accepted."

" If past pro-discrimination campaigns are any indication, this end-around by the Right could be the first of many unscrupulous tactics and tricks we may see between now and November," said Smith.

The complaint was filed by Protect Our Constitution campaign manager Jackie Young and Smith, Protect Our Constitution/Human Rights Campaign's representative.

"Today's complaint asked that the Commission declare the Christian Coalition and Christian Coalition Hawaii in violation of the law, compel them to register, and impose all appropriate penalties under the law. These groups need to learn that in Hawaii, there are consequences for those who do not play by the rules," said Young.

©1998 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.