Political Radar


July 31st, 2013

State Rep. Chris Lee is joining the gay rights activists urging Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the Legislature to hold a special session on gay marriage.

Lee, in a message being circulated by Hawaii United for Marriage, warns that waiting until the next regular session in 2014 would put Hawaii in the national spotlight. Hawaii already allows same-sex and heterosexual couples the ability to enter into civil unions and receive the same rights as marriage under state law.

From Lee:

Governor Abercrombie and my fellow legislators are considering a special session to bring marriage equality to Hawaii. We know delaying until 2014 will make Hawaii ground zero for a national war on this issue. Instead, we can -- and should -- resolve this now, in 2013, on our own terms and in our own way.

As a legislator, I know what my colleagues are going through. Whether for or against, every lawmaker carries a heavy burden and hears passionate voices on all sides. But these are the times for which we were elected and I am confident that we will come together, fulfill our constitutional duty, and do the right thing.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, other states have led the way, and views are rapidly changing—from the people at our parties and around our dinner tables, to the Pope himself. The tide has turned.

5 Responses to “Now”

  1. Bart Dame:

    Rep. Lee is exactly right. The time has come to put this issue behind us and recognize all our family and friends as equal in the eyes of the law. The recent Supreme Court rulings, along with past legislative actions at the Capitol, have changed the dynamic. Both proponents and opponents of marriage equality recognize the shift to full marriage equality is inevitable. So why delay justice any longer than we already have?

    I am hoping the Democratic Party will dismiss the ill-conceived complaint agains those elected Democrats who sponsored the constitutional amendment. Once that is done, I hope it will establish and atmosphere more conducive to dialogue and cooperation towards resolving this issue.

    While there are not enough votes in the Legislature eager to call themselves into a special session for this purpose, I have no doubt the bill will pass with strong majorities in both chambers, ONCE the question is put to them and they are forced to decide, yea or nay. But some in the Lege, including some in leadership, appear to want to avoid having to make that choice and so, are spreading doubt, telling the Governor the votes are "too close to call."

    Rep. Lee is correct the bill could pass with a lot less drama, a lot less time, if it were to be dealt with this summer rather than in 2014. It is like tearing off a band-aid. Yank it quick and the pain is gone. Prolong it, delay, moan and drag it out and it will consume a lot more time, a lot more energy, next year, distracting us all from dealing with other thorny issues. This one has been solved. You just gotta rise to the responsibilities of leadership.

    Are there leaders in that building? Other than Chris Lee, that is?

  2. Hmmmm:

    18 Senators signed a letter to Abercrombie asking for a special session... Lee was just pandering... Knowing that the House can't get the 2/3 to call for the special session this was just an impractical stunt... The deal was sealed when the House organized with Republicans

  3. Goober:

    Seems that it is that time again.

    Not all will be satisfied.
    That is not equal. One sided.

  4. Kolea:


    Can you explain what you mean when you said, "The deal was sealed when the House organized with Republicans." ?

    Not sure I can follow. Are you saying the Souki group is prevented by the alliance with the GOP from pushing for a special session? Or are you saying the Say-Oshiro group is refusing to go along, out of spite?

    Please clarify your reasoning.

    Thanks in advance.

  5. Especially Incognito:

    Seems one needs to know the answer again before
    asking the question.

    souki is a democrat in name only. DINO.
    he sided with many republicans.

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