Political action group takes offense to store marquee referencing HPD bill

Political action group takes offense to store marquee
Published: Apr. 1, 2014 at 1:51 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's a sign that has gotten a lot of attention, not just because of it's location -- at the corner of Beretania and McCully Streets -- but also because a picture of it was put on the Hawaii News Now's Facebook Page.  Almost half a million people clicked on the HNN post, most 'liked' the joke on Hawaiian Rent-All's marquee.  But a political action group is not laughing.

"Our members are tremendously offended.  I personally was tremendously offended," says Kris Coffield from IMU Alliance.

Coffield co-authored HB 1926, which prevents Honolulu Police officers from having sex with prostitutes during undercover investigations.  He says the term 'hoes' is offensive because it's a demeaning term used to refer to prostitutes.

Hawaiian Rent-All does sell 'hoes', the garden tools, and used the word as a pun on the marquee.

"It's a play off words," says Paul Gibfried, owner of Hawaiian Rent-All, "it was never meant to be anything negative toward them."

Gibfried says the sign was just meant to make people laugh.

"I don't think anybody at the store has given us bad comments," says Gibfried, who says even HPD officers chuckled about it.

Imu Alliance wants the sign removed, an apology and wants the owner to contact them to see how the store can help prevent human trafficking.

Gibfried says the sign is coming down soon, not because of the controversy but because people are losing interest.   A new sign will soon replace it and it will also relate to the HPD issue.

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