(Headline USA) The chair of a parade honoring a Native Hawaiian leader and prince said Friday a state lawmaker is banned from the event after he questioned a middle school principal’s display of a pride flag.
Kūhiō Lewis, the chairperson of the Prince Kūhiō Parade, said he notified Republican state Rep. Elijah Pierick of the decision in a letter.
The parade is scheduled to be held in Kapolei on Saturday. Lewis is also the CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, which is organizing and financially supporting the parade. He said Pierick will be removed from the parade lineup.
Piereck responded, saying: “I appreciate the perspective of the private entity that leads the parade and I honor their decision in who they invite to be in the parade.”
Lewis’ statement comes after Pierick posted a video on Instagram relaying how he visited Ewa Makai Middle School and saw “a LGBTQ flag” outside of the principal’s office and other offices in the school.
“You might be thinking yourself, What does that flag actually represent? What is it conveying to our middle school students? This is what it means: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, plus,” he said.
“Are these the kinds of concepts and lifestyles we want to be conveying to our middle school students? Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday all year round?,” he said.
He urged people with thoughts or concerns to contact the school principal, and he posted the school’s phone number and her work email address.
“I believe my constituents have the right to know what’s going on in the school. What kind of symbols are being promoted and what kind of messages are being conveyed to the students?” Pierick said.
Piereck is a first-term legislator representing Kunia and Honouliuli.
The Prince Kūhiō Parade honors Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, who was born in 1871.
He went into exile after the U.S.-backed overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893. But he returned years later and in 1902 became a non-voting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress, where he served for two decades.
He is credited with spearheading a law setting aside 200,000 acres of land to create homelands for Native Hawaiians.
March 26 is a state holiday in his honor, which will be observed on Monday.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press