By Derrick DePledge
State Rep. Bob McDermott has asked House Speaker Joseph Souki to schedule hearings on a gay marriage bill on the Neighbor Islands and Oahu. The House Judiciary Committee would conduct the hearings.
McDermott, a Republican who opposes gay marriage and wants the voters to decide the issue through a constitutional amendment, said the bill is being rushed in a special session this month. McDermott serves on the House Judiciary Committee.
Souki, however, has no plans to hold hearings on the Neighbor Islands, according to a House spokeswoman.
“Their intention is to rush this bill though in a five-day special session with very limited opportunities for the public to give testimony or attend public hearings” McDermott said in a statement.
He added “that allowing residents of the Neighbor Islands to participate in public hearings would assure them that the governor and Legislature were not deliberately ignoring them on this major societal change. They deserve to be heard.”