Civil Unions Fail In Hawaii
Although the Hawaii House approved a civil unions bill last year, yesterday they voted to postpone a new vote indefinitely thank to enormous pressure from Christian groups. Last week the Hawaii Senate approved the bill by a veto-proof majority.
The state House, conflicted by emotion and election-year politics, voted yesterday to indefinitely postpone action on a civil-unions bill. The voice vote, which came after no debate, essentially kills the bill this session, since it would require a two-thirds majority to bring the bill back for consideration. Gay rights activists in the House gallery shouted for a roll-call vote on the motion, and when lawmakers quickly moved to other items on their agenda, several screamed "Shame!" as they walked out of the chamber. The state Senate approved a civil-unions bill last week that would give same-sex and heterosexual couples the rights, benefits and responsibilities of marriage under state law. The vote reached the two-thirds majority needed to overcome a potential veto, a signal to the House and Gov. Linda Lingle. The House, which strongly passed a civil-unions bill last session that would apply only to same-sex couples, also wanted a veto-proof majority. But only a majority of House lawmakers were prepared to vote for the bill yesterday, an indication that political pressure from religious conservatives, including thousands who rallied at the state Capitol earlier this month, had worked.Visit my post of two weeks ago for copies of anti-gay flyers and parish letters sent out by the Hawaii Catholic diocese.