ONTD Political

Hawaii governor vetoes civil unions bill

4:35 pm - 07/06/2010
Gov. Linda Lingle announced today that she will veto the civil unions bill, describing the measure as "marriage by another name."

Lingle said the legislative maneuvering by the House, which brought the bill to a vote on the last day of session, was wrong and that the issue is of such societal importance that it should involve all the people of Hawaii.

She said she made the decision about a week ago. "I feel very comfortable with my decision," she said. "I think I gave (the issue) the dignity that it deserved."

"I have been open and consistent in my opposition to same-sex marriage, and find that House Bill 444 is essentially same sex marriage by another name," the governor said.

The Republican governor said she believes the issue of civil unions should go before voters in a ballot question and that lawmakers should draft the language for a ballot question during the next session. "I would be surprised (if) this does not go on the next available ballot."

Opponents of civil unions celebrated the governor's decision, while disappointed gay rights activists will likely push for the bill again next year.

Hawaii Family Forum and the Hawaii Catholic Conference expressed their gratitude to the governor. "Her decision came after a thoughtful and balanced study of the bill and its consequences and we are convinced she has come to the proper and only conclusion that will best serve the people of Hawaii," they said in a statement issued soon after she announced her decision.

But HB444 advocates Citizens for Equal Rights issued a statement saying they are "deeply disappointed," saying the veto "helps perpetuate current conditions that allow discrimination against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) families. This is not where we are as a society, as a nation and state."

"We think the governor passed up a historic opportunity for leadership on an issue whose time has come. But we are determined to keep up the struggle for equality," the group said.

Dozens of advocates and opponents gathered outside the state Capitol earlier today for one final burst of lobbying. Supporters, many wearing rainbow-colored lei, boomed popular music over a sound system and waved flags symbolizing equality. Opponents, many dressed in white T-shirts, formed prayer circles and sang hymns.

House Bill 444 would have given same-sex and heterosexual couples the ability to enter into civil unions and receive the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as marriage under state law. Same-sex marriages, civil unions or domestic partnerships performed in other states would have been recognized as civil unions in Hawaii.

While religious conservatives and other opponents have equated civil unions to marriage, there are differences. Civil unions in Hawaii would not have been recognized under federal law or by other states or countries that do not have civil-unions laws. Civil unions would also not have had the same religious, cultural and social significance as marriage.

Under a state constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1998, the state Legislature has the authority to define marriage as between a man and a woman. The civil-unions bill stated that it is not the intent of the Legislature to redefine marriage.

The state House passed a civil-unions bill last year that only applied to same-sex couples. The bill was amended by the state Senate to include heterosexual couples on the second-to-last day of session, but the change meant that the Senate could not take final action before the session ended.

The Senate took up the bill again in January of this year and passed it 18-7, enough votes to reach the two-thirds' threshold to override a veto. The House decided in February to indefinitely postpone action on the bill. But House lawmakers revived the bill on the last day of session in April and passed it in a 31-20 vote, three votes short of the two-thirds needed for an override.

Lingle had said she wanted to take the full 45 working days she is allowed under state law to consider her decision. The Republican governor said in May that she thought that civil unions, as described in the bill, were equivalent to same-sex marriage, which she opposes. But she met privately with advocates and opponents of the bill and said she had gone back and forth in her mind about her decision.

House leaders announced on Friday that they would not return for a one-day veto override session today. Senate leaders had said they were willing to return. The House's decision left the fate of the civil-unions bill solely in Lingle's hands for this year.

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popehippo 7th-Jul-2010 02:39 am (UTC)
Fuck you.
fishphile 7th-Jul-2010 01:45 pm (UTC)
You so accurately said what I wanted to so THIS.
firerosearien 7th-Jul-2010 02:42 am (UTC)
peacenlove2332 7th-Jul-2010 02:50 am (UTC)
boo that
jaeoji 7th-Jul-2010 02:52 am (UTC)
wth I thought a lot of the homophobes were okay with civil unions (wrong?)
redstar826 7th-Jul-2010 03:37 am (UTC)
In my experience, a lot of homophobes are not okay with anything that recognizes same-sex relationships.
schexyschteve 7th-Jul-2010 02:52 am (UTC)
Hawaii, there is a flag on your license plate. Get on this.
haruhiko 7th-Jul-2010 02:54 am (UTC)

Thanks, asshole!
dragoon1940 7th-Jul-2010 02:56 am (UTC)
"Oh we're OK with civil unions, just not marriage."

"Fine, we'll have civil unions then."


thenakedcat 7th-Jul-2010 02:56 am (UTC)
"I think I gave the issue the dignity it deserved."

Fuck right off, lady. You just shat on the dignity of Hawaii's queers.
fansprez 7th-Jul-2010 03:02 am (UTC)
Congrats Iowa. You are now greater than New York, California, and Hawaii! Are the cornfields pretty this time of year?
crasherwake 7th-Jul-2010 08:30 pm (UTC)
It was never put to a vote and hopefully it never will. Apparently the rest of the nation needs some Iowa common sense and Iowa common decency.
doe_witch 7th-Jul-2010 03:08 am (UTC)
God damn it.
octocoffee 7th-Jul-2010 03:09 am (UTC)
I can't do this. I don't even. Fuck.
stack_cats 7th-Jul-2010 03:11 am (UTC)
age_of_green 7th-Jul-2010 03:14 am (UTC)
The hell, Hawaii? I thought y'all were more chillaxed then the mainland on this shit.

*insert GTFO/DIAF/FUUUU RAGE image here*
hey_its_michael 7th-Jul-2010 03:15 am (UTC)
Well, at least it was the Governor who is being the asshole. The representatives of the people at least passed it. :o/
hey_its_michael 7th-Jul-2010 03:14 am (UTC)
Well, she can fucking DIAF.
spidergwen 7th-Jul-2010 03:19 am (UTC)
It's shit like this that pissed me off when people like Maggie Gallagher or Tony Perkins and the lot, go from on state and be like "We have no problems with Civil Unions, just not marriage" and then turn around to another state and be like "Civil Unions is marriage but with a different name." It's like, "really? can people not see through this bullshit?"


"I think I gave (the issue) the dignity that it deserved."

fruhlings 7th-Jul-2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
ahaha, that gif is amazing.
aurora_84 7th-Jul-2010 03:29 am (UTC)
Ugh, fuck.
misadventurelad 7th-Jul-2010 03:32 am (UTC)
House leaders announced on Friday that they would not return for a one-day veto override session today

Really? Cause that wasn't important enough?

blondiedoe 7th-Jul-2010 03:35 am (UTC)
God. Fuck the States. :/
redstar826 7th-Jul-2010 03:35 am (UTC)
I really dislike this idea of putting equal rights up for a vote.
juliet316 7th-Jul-2010 03:39 am (UTC)
Yes, because it worked SO well when it was put up for vote in California and Virginia.
jesidres 7th-Jul-2010 03:39 am (UTC)
Well, fuck you too, lady.
juliet316 7th-Jul-2010 03:40 am (UTC)

Just fuck it. Fuck the world this week.
heyuwiththeface 7th-Jul-2010 03:41 am (UTC)
man, think of all the revenue from same sex ceremonies that they just lost. seriously. rainbow leis, tropical islands.... chicks in grass skirts and cocunut bras and muscly shirtless guys?

that's was a silly move, governor whats your face of hawaii.
juliet316 7th-Jul-2010 03:47 am (UTC)
Even better is that she's a lame duck gov. so she wouldn't have even had to face the voters over this either way.
goblinthebamf 7th-Jul-2010 03:44 am (UTC)
well, that's a punch in the proverbial nuts. :(
veritasera 7th-Jul-2010 03:47 am (UTC)
I just - okay. I completely fail to understand why or how anyone can waste breath and energy freaking out about this shit. Don't these people have something better to do than stomp all over other citizens' right to the pursuit of happiness? Forget my moral and political outrage, and that of other progressives, over putting civil rights up to the vote, of allowing the government to butt its nose that far into people's personal sphere of beliefs and relationship values, of how these people act like they're the victims, because somehow by allowing people to marry their own rights as married straights will be trampled on -

Just, why the fuck is this an issue? Why. I don't even have the energy to argue with the homophobes around here anymore.

chaya 7th-Jul-2010 04:02 am (UTC)
"I think I gave (the issue) the dignity that it deserved."

"the dignity that it deserved"

"the dignity that it deserved"

mcpreacher 7th-Jul-2010 08:37 am (UTC)
hahaha i know, like she spent the whole 45 days sequestered in wolf blitzer's situation room giving it thought and shit

stalled the measure until it was crisp enough from sitting on her desk that she could wipe her ass on the signature line
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