Some question former councilman's stance on gays, lesbians

Okino looking to be appointed to ethics board of appeals

Published  1:57 PM HST Jan 25, 2013
Gary Okino
HONOLULU -

"I'm absolutely appalled," said Caroline Gollojuch from the group Parents, Friends of Lesbians & Gays.

Gollojuch was back at Honolulu Hale trying to block the appointment of former councilman Gary Okino to an ethics board of appeals.

She thinks Okino overstepped the line in Wednesday's council meeting when he called gays immoral and deviant.

"I have no tolerance of homosexuality," said Okino.

Okino's opponents argued that his strong views against homosexuality make him unfit to serve on this particular board.  They accuse him of being hateful and intolerant.

"It is not hateful.  It is intolerance.  I am sorry.  It is intolerance for something I believe that is absolutely wrong," said Okino.

Council members questioned Okino whether he could be fair and impartial if he had to enforce ethics law.

"Will you discriminate against a gay person?" asked Councilwoman Kymberly Pine.

"Absolutely not.  A person's sexual preference would have nothing to do with my decision on --  it would be totally based on the ethics laws of the city and county of Honolulu."

Other council members spoke on Okino's behalf calling him a man of integrity.

"He is a man of highest standards of ethics and moral character," said Councilman Breen Harimoto.

"I am confident that he will be able to serve well in this capacity," said Council Chair Ernie Martin.

Okino told KITV4 News while he admits his comments may have been over the top, he stands by his Christian beliefs and his ability to do the job.

Okino does not believe his religious stance will derail his appointment.

The full council decides Wednesday whether he should serve on that city board.

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