Today, Senator Brian Schatz released the following statement on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic "I Have a Dream" speech. Schatz will also join state leaders in the Honolulu Capitol Rotunda at 4 pm HST for an event commemorating the occasion.
"Today marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most remarkable speeches, and movements, of our time. In his historic oration, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. referred to the United States Constitution as "a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.' On this day, we should all take a moment to recognize that although our Constitution is unique and extraordinary, its promise has not yet been fully recognized. As Dr. King so eloquently articulated on this day 50 years ago, there is still progress to be made in order to ensure that all Americans enjoy the inalienable rights promised to them in the Constitution.
"Amazingly, the basic right to vote is under fire across our country. You can call it whatever you want, but I call it voter suppression and a violation of civil rights. We cannot go backwards. Equal means equal. And in order to achieve equality, we must work to ensure paycheck fairness, because we still live in a country in which women are paid 77 cents for every dollar a man is paid. Clearly, we have work to do. Until same sex couples enjoy all the same rights as heterosexual couples in the state of Hawaii and every other state, we will not be equal. Therefore, today is the perfect day to remind ourselves of the mission that still lies ahead. Have the same dream as Dr. King. Hold onto it, and fight for it. Not because it's easy, but because it is right."