Honolulu Police Commission Nominee Faces Group's Opposition

Jun 18, 2020

A high-profile nominee to the Honolulu Police Commission faces opposition through an email campaign organized by a group saying he has a record of anti-LGBTQ sentiment.

Honolulu City Council members received more than 100 emails opposing the nomination of former Hawaii Lt. Gov. Doug Chin, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday.

The group AF3IRM Hawaii urged social media followers to email messages to the city council opposing Chin’s nomination.

Chin said Tuesday he is “in a very different place than I was 25 years ago” when he made remarks that some perceive as an anti-gay rant. A recording of his comments was posted online.

Chin said he apologized for the comments when he was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018.

“I think my actions support what I’m saying when I tell people I’ve certainly changed in my views,” Chin said.

AF3IRM Hawaii describes itself as “a multi-ethnic, multi-class organization led by women of color engaged in transnational feminist, anti-imperialist activism.”

Chin served as Democratic Gov. David Ige’s attorney general before becoming lieutenant governor.

He previously worked as managing director in the office of former Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle after serving as chief deputy during Carlisle's term as prosecuting attorney.

AF3IRM Hawaii said in suggested language for messages that Chin once lobbied for a private corrections company and has a record of homophobia.

The group's messages also claim Chin could have done more to seek reforms and address corruption at the Honolulu Police Department while working under Carlisle.

Chin said Tuesday he is “in a very different place than I was 25 years ago” when he made remarks that some perceive as an anti-gay rant. A recording of his comments was posted online.

Chin listed some of his work he said benefited the LGBTQ community including defending the Marriage Equality Act before the Hawaii Supreme Court and serving as lead author of an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 19 states opposing President Donald Trump’s proposal to ban transgender individuals from the armed forces.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced the nominations of Chin and YMCA of Honolulu CEO Michael Broderick on June 8 to fill two of three vacancies on the seven-member volunteer commission.