Since anti-gay speech 23 years ago, lieutenant governor says he's 'grown up a lot'
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Lt. Gov. Doug Chin is apologizing for an anti-gay speech that he made more than 20 years ago in church.
The angry address, which he delivered at the Oahu Church of Christ, is now being used against him in his race for Congress.
"The Bible is right, your family is wrong (about tolerance of homosexuality)!" Chin shouts, in a recording of the 1995 speech.
"Is there any shame in that? What's so bad about that? God is right, your family is wrong."
Chin, now 51 and a father of two, says his views have changed.
"I've really grown up a lot since then and I regret if I had any sort of tone," he said. "I apologize if I used anything that caused people to feel uncomfortable or overly guilty."
Chin points to his public record as proof of his evolution.
As attorney general, he says he defended the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act in the Hawaii Supreme Court and fought the Trump Administration to defend the rights of transgender servicemembers.
And now, as lieutenant governor, he announced Monday he's supporting a proposal to ban conversion therapy — the controversial practice that tries to turn gay people straight through prayer.
"Honestly, this is a form of child abuse," he said. "This is really the type of activity that really makes young people question their identity in a way that is unhealthy."
But one of Chin's opponents in the Democratic primary isn't buying it.
State Rep. Kaniela Ing is accusing Chin of covering up his true feelings for political gain.
"To see him fighting for this conservative, anti-gay, anti-women values for his whole life, then all of a sudden change his mind, is disingenuous," Ing said.
Ing also points to Chin's church, where less than two years ago held a series of seminars about homosexuality in the church and how to convert to Christ.
"We need people that are going to lead the public in the right place. Not just jump on the band wagon when it helps them politically," said Ing.
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