Main | Tuesday, July 06, 2010

BREAKING: NO Civil Unions For Hawaii

Calling it "marriage by another name," Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle has just announced that she will VETO her state's civil unions bill. Adding insult to her bigotry, invited to the announcement was the now-retired Hawaii Supreme Court Justice who first got the state's marriage equality ball rolling in 1993.
Justice Steven H. Levinson's 1993 opinion stated that laws prohibiting same-sex couples the right to marry violated equal protection rights unless the state could show a "compelling reason" for such discrimination. Seventeen years, a Constitutional amendment and many battles later, Levinson, now retired, is among those who were invited to the governor's office to witness her announce her decision on House Bill 444 later today, he told Civil Beat this morning.
Anti-gay groups such as the Catholic nutters Tradition, Values, and Property held vigil outside the state house, saying the rosary in the hopes of warding off gay voodoo. Another group circled the state house seven times, blowing on a shofar. The Maui Time prepared the below two possible covers for tomorrow in advance of Lingle's announcement. Now we know which one goes to press.TAKE ACTION
Hawaii Chamber of Commerce - 808-545-4300
Hawaii Visitors & Conventions Bureau - 800-464-2924

UPDATE: The ACLU and Lambda Legal have announced plans to sue Hawaii.
Lambda Legal and the ACLU had readied a lawsuit after the House tabled HB 444 in January. The Hawai'i Senate had previously approved the bill by a veto-proof 18 to 7 majority and sent it back to the House for a conforming vote. "We're obviously disappointed that Governor Lingle has, once again, used her power to deny the people of Hawai'i their civil rights" said Laurie Temple, Staff Attorney for the ACLU. "Luckily for the people of Hawai'i, however, our constitution prevents discrimination based on sexual orientation. If the Governor won't honor her oath to uphold the constitution, the courts will."

Equality Hawaii:
“Today is a sad day for the thousands of Hawaii families who remain second class citizens,” said Alan Spector, legislative affairs co-chair for Equality Hawaii. “We fail to see how the Governor’s actions are in the best interest of Hawaii’s future and are nothing more than political maneuvering at the expense of people’s lives. We’re disappointed and outraged that same-sex families will not be treated equally under Hawaii law, but vow to come back and fight this fight another day.”
Human Rights Campaign:
“Americans nationwide share in the disappointment and outrage of thousands of Hawaii’s families who will not receive equal treatment under law,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “Thankfully, there are local advocates as well as leaders in the Hawaii legislature who will continue to further the cause of equality. For decades, we have been a loyal partner in this fight for fairness in the Aloha State and we pledge to stand with them for years to come.”
Pride Alliance Hawaii:
“The members of Pride Alliance Hawaii are greatly disappointed in Governor Lingle's decision to veto the Civil Unions bill and allow the state to continue its discriminatory practices against same-sex couples,” said Tara O’Neill, President of Pride Alliance Hawaii. “Two separate and independent economic studies, a poll conducted by a nationally recognized polling organization, and the thousands of residents who vocalized their support of the bill to the Governor and the Legislature over the past two years makes clear that the passage of HB444 is good economic sense, is socially just, and is supported by the people of Hawaii. The LGBT community's fight for equality in Hawaii will continue.”
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force:
“Governor Lingle’s veto of legislation that would protect and strengthen Hawaii’s families is beyond a disappointment: It is a disgrace. Hawaii’s lawmakers passed this bill because it was about fundamental fairness. The governor’s action today flies in the face of both common sense and common humanity. We urge the Hawaii Legislature to override this veto.”
P-FLAG Oahu:
“Today, on July 6, 2010, Gov. Linda Lingle denied social justice when she vetoed HB444 for Civil Unions,” said Rev. Carolyn M. Golojuch, President of PFLAG-Oahu. “Her denial is a violation of the integrity of her office and a violation of her oath of office. Governor Lingle’s denial of equal rights, benefits and protections for one segment of our citizens is a denial for all of our citizens of Hawaii.”

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