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Okino nomination withdrawn after anti-gay remarks

    20060104 CTY TAX 01.jpg Council member,Gary Okino, at a City Hall press conference touting a tax cut for homeowners in Hawaii. photo by Craig T. Kojima

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell sent a letter to the City Council today withdrawing Gary Okino’s nomination to the city Ethics Board of Appeals in the wake of a furor over comments made regarding his opinion of homosexuals.

“There is no place for discrimination of any kind in city government, and even though Mr. Okino stated he would not discriminate if he was appointed as a member of the Ethics Board of Appeals, I find his position on the gay community to be a problem,” Caldwell said in a release issued this afternoon.

Okino was nominated by former Mayor Peter Carlisle and he was queried by members of the City Council Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee on Tuesday. 

Okino told committee members “I have no tolerance for homosexuals” and that gay people “are in danger not only spiritually but physically.”

Okino’s nomination was moved out of committee 7-0, with members Ikaika Anderson and Stanley Chang absent.

Both Anderson and Chang announced today that they would vote to reject Okino’s nomination at a scheduled final vote before the full Council Wednesday.

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