The Hawaii chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is challenging a senior living operator who claims residents may not partake in a state law that begins in January.
Last May, a memo from Kāhala Nui’s Executive Director Wendy Wong was sent to all residents, informing them they couldn’t ingest lethal medications, as to do so would violate a section of their residency agreements. Specifically, the contracts prohibit activities that are “repugnant to the Roman Catholic Bishop of Honolulu or inconsistent with the doctrines and teaching of the Church.”
But such requirements violate federal housing rules, said Mateo Caballero, ACLU Hawaii’s legal director.
“You cannot impose, as a landlord, your religious beliefs on your tenants. But also, you have to allow your tenants to have their own beliefs,” he said. He added that his organization sent a letter to the senior living operator, demanding that the restrictions be removed before Nov. 16.
Kāhala Nui, a community in Honolulu, is reviewing the correspondence, according to a company statement.
“Kāhala Nui does not discriminate and has never denied residency based on religion, race, sex, color or any other basis,” the statement added.