POSTED: 11:41 a.m. HST, Oct 28, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 01:19 p.m. HST, Oct 28, 2013
More than 100 supporters of gay marriage gathered for a rally at the Capitol this morning to kick off the state's special session.
Senators are hearing testimony on a bill to legalize same sex marriage. Later on this week, community members will have a chance to speak before House lawmakers.
There is a "Say No To Same Sex" rally planned at the Capitol beginning at 4 p.m.
At this morning's rally, many supporters donned rainbow lei as those who gathered chanted, cheered, and sang for what they describe is the civil rights issue of this generation.
Clergy read lines from Dr. Martin Luther King's pledge to nonviolence that he took with marchers in 1963, including the vows to sacrifice personal wishes that all might be free and refrain from violence of fist, tongue, and heart.
"We are within days of making history here in Hawaii but our job's not over yet, not even close," Rep. Chris Lee (D, Kailua-Lanikai-Waimanalo) told the crowd. "We are almost home, we are yards from the finish line."
Sen. Roz Baker (D, Honokohau-Makena) took to the podium to express that the emails she has received in opposition to the bill have distressed her.
"It's not right, it's not pono, and it does not have a place here in Hawaii," she said.
Jo-Ann Adams, chairwoman of the GLBT Caucus of the Democratic Party, encouraged the crowd to refrain from verbally engaging those the opposition to the bill and to instead display kindness.