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More on the Hawaii Civil Unions Veto

Jim Burroway

July 6th, 2010

Gov. Linda Lingle (R) today announced that she would veto the civil unions bill that was passed overwhelmingly by the state legislature, calling the measure “marriage by another name.” Of course, the bill isn’t “marriage by another name” at all. As civil unions, they would not have been recognized by any other state that recognizes same-sex marriages from other states. Nor would they be recognized by the federal government if the Defense of Marriage Act were to be repealed.

The Senate passed the bill last January by a veto-proof majority of 18-7. The House passed the bill in April by a 31-20 vote, which was just three votes short of the two-thirds that would be needed for an override. Against that backdrop, Lingle’s reasoning for vetoing the bill was downright nonsensical:

“The subject of this legislation has touched the hearts and minds of our citizens as no other social issue of our day,” Lingle said. “It would be a mistake to allow a decision of this magnitude to be made by one individual or a small group of elected officials.

This year is a gubernatorial election year for Hawaii, and the subject of civil unions may become a campaign issue. Predictably, it has already put the two gubernatorial candidates seeking to replace Lingle on opposite sides of the issue. Republican candidate and current Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona commended Lingle “for making this difficult and courageous decision.” He also called for a public referendum to put a minorities human rights up for a vote.

Meanwhile Democratic candidate and former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie said:

“HB 444 was not a same-sex marriage bill. The State Legislature has already defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Civil unions respect our diversity, protect people’s privacy and reinforce our core values of equality and aloha.

“Now, it will be up to the next governor and Legislature to ensure that all people of Hawaii receive equal treatment. Protecting people’s civil rights cannot be compromised. I am committed to that most essential of constitutional imperatives.”

Comments

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Lynn David
July 7th, 2010 | LINK

Same reasoning that brought about the vote in Maine. Plus the abortive reasoning that activist judges were to blame, and now activist legislatures. *sigh*

CB
July 7th, 2010 | LINK

Imagine if the populus back in the late 1800′s/early 1900′s were allowed to vote on womans suffrage (vice it being legislative which would now be considered an activist legislature). Would that have been fair, since only men were allowed to vote? Isn’t this roughly the same thing, a majority (men/heterosexuals) voting on a minority (women’s right to vote/homosexuals)?

Neil D
July 7th, 2010 | LINK

Backlash is hard to deal with. We think we’re pushing slowly, but we’re really going too fast for conservative America. Patience.

Joe in California
July 7th, 2010 | LINK

I applaud Democratic candidate Neil Abercrombie.

Defense of Marriage Act on the Federal side of things should be repealed. Please President Obama, as you promised!

Timothy Kincaid
July 7th, 2010 | LINK

What I found amazing about her comments was that she said that “this decision should not be left to one person”.

But it was.

One person overrode the decision of 49 people, most of whom are now going back to the people for their vote. She is not.

This is truly an example of one person unaccountable to the public who override a huge majority of the peoples’ representatives.

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