The Constitution of the State of Hawaii, drafted under Act 334, Hawaii Session Acts of 1949, provides individuals living in Hawaii with certain rights when it comes to participating in public events that are consistent with their beliefs and values. The Constitution prohibits discrimination based on national origin, race, color, religion, disability, sex, and family status. This means that people cannot be denied equal opportunities because they or their family members are from another country, because they have a name or accent associated with a group of national origin, because they participate in certain customs associated with a group of national origin, or because they are married or associated with people of a certain national origin. The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission is responsible for enforcing the State's anti-discrimination laws and has the authority to administer oaths and affirmations, to make statements, to compel parties and witnesses and to submit documents by issuing subpoenas, to question parties and witnesses under oath, to demand answers to interrogations, and to delegate these powers to any member of the commission or to any person appointed by the commission. The Commission may also initiate civil action before a district court if violations are found to have been committed.
In addition, agency officials must consult with indigenous tribes and native Hawaiian organizations when planning public events that could potentially affect historic properties of religious and cultural importance. This includes consulting with tribes and organizations regarding the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Native American Tombs Protection and Repatriation Act (NAPTRA), the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA), and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA). If individuals feel their rights have been violated, they have access to legal recourse. The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission website provides educational and general information on this topic but should not be used as a substitute for legal or other advice.
It is important for individuals living in Hawaii to understand their rights when it comes to participating in public events. Knowing these rights can help ensure that everyone is treated fairly and given equal opportunities.