Saturday, March 10, 2007

Leadership Above and Beyond Shown On House Floor

Following an hours long House judiciary committee hearing on civil unions last week, Rep. Sylvia Luke broke from the legislative pack and showed true leadership this week by offering an amendment to the state's reciprocal beneficiary statute.

Some of Luke's colleagues were absent from the House floor when the vote was taken, which demonstrates the stigma still attached to equal rights issues in Hawaii (After all, almost a decade ago Hawaii was at the forefront of the same-sex marriage debate). They, however, are the ones who will have to answer to their constituents next election; the legislator who refrains from voting on an issue faces greater questioning from their constituency versus one who goes on the record.

In a time when we dismiss leaders for playing the fence, appeasing both sides of an issue, Rep. Sylvia Luke clearly shown as a leader. After all, it's not where one stands in times of peace and tranquility, but where one stands in times of conflict and pressure, which truly define a person.

Leaders lead by making well reasoned, thoughtful, difficult, visionary, decisions; that should be why we elect them. They should challenge us to think sometimes too - we don't always have to agree with them, but we should know where they stand. Thankfully we know where Rep. Sylvia Luke stands - and I couldn't be more pleased.


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