Senate to introduce sole same-sex marriage bill

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Oct 22 2013 05:37:00 PM HST
Updated On: Oct 22 2013 05:27:00 PM HST

Six days till a special session showdown on same sex-marriage, and security is on high-alert.

HONOLULU -

State sheriffs were highly visible as lawmakers prepared to caucus.

They were on every floor and just about every corner.

The heightened alert comes on the heels of additional threats against lawmakers over their positions on the same-sex marriage issue.

Click here to see Catherine Cruz's report.

"We are always concerned about it, so we are trying to tighten security a bit," said House Speaker Joe Souki.       

Emotions are expected to ratchet as the days tick down to session.

House leadership expressed hope that cooler heads will prevail even though rhetoric is getting more heated.

 "We want everyone to be respectful, beginning with the members of our conference  and we hope the community will be respectful," said Rep. Scott Saiki.

Even the Pastors Roundtable, a group of  37 church leaders, stepped up to urge their members and the community to keep their cool.

"Be persuasive and not abrasive. Bless people and not blast people and be peacemakers not troublemakers," said Pastor Allen Cardines Jr. who is also the chairman of the Roundtable.

The Roundtable's message: respect and restraint.

"It is a divisive issue emotions can get high so lets keep the main things  the main things and we have to  share  an  island together. so  we have to treat each other with respect," said Darrin Araki, executive director of the Pastors Roundtable.

Lawmakers said Tuesday that the Senate will introduce the only same sex marriage bill and likely hold its first hearing on Monday.

 A joint House Finance and Judiciary hearing will be held on Thursday.

If there are any amendments, lawmakers say the special session will probably last a week and a half.

The House speaker still believes he has enough votes to pass out an equality bill and that there is little chance for a constitutional amendment to let voters decide on the issue.

Gay marriage, same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage cases explained

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