By Derrick DePledge
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.
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.