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Hawaii Governor Vetoes Civil Unions Bill

Background

by Robert Cruickshank

As many of you know by now, Hawaii’s Republican governor Linda Lingle announced last night that she will veto the civil unions bill just passed by the Hawaii legislature:

“After months of listening to Hawaii’s citizens express to me in writing and in person their deeply held beliefs and heartfelt reasons for supporting or opposing the Civil Unions Bill, I have made the decision to veto HB 444.

I have been open and consistent in my opposition to same gender marriage and find that HB 444 is essentially marriage by another name.

Lingle goes on to claim she didn’t veto this because of that personal opposition, but because she wants to punt this to the voters:

I am vetoing this bill because I have become convinced that this issue is of such significant societal importance that it deserves to be decided directly by all the people of Hawaii. …

This is a decision that should not be made by one person sitting in her office or by members of the Majority Party behind closed doors in a legislative caucus, but by all the people of Hawaii behind the curtain of the voting booth.

As we know, those votes haven’t always gone so well for our side. But there’s a more important reason why Lingle’s reasoning is flawed:

Hawaii voters already gave the Legislature the power to decide this issue.

Here’s the background. In 1993, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that the state was discrimination against LGBT couples by denying them same-sex marriage licenses. In 1996 a follow-up case confirmed the initial ruling.

When it looked like Hawaii would start granting same-sex marriage licenses, the US Congress wrote and passed the notorious Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which President Bill Clinton signed, a likely violation of the US Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause. And in Hawaii, opponents of marriage equality, led by the Mormon and Catholic churches, mobilized to pass Amendment 2 in 1998.

Amendment 2 did NOT outright ban same-sex marriage. Instead it gave power to the Hawaii legislature to ban it. In short, the voters of Hawaii already went behind that curtain and said “the legislature can decide.”

Which is what the legislature did back in April 2010 by passing the bill to grant civil unions, the bill Lingle just vetoed. Lingle’s logic doesn’t make sense, and doesn’t accurately describe the political situation.

Further, because the Hawaii House of Representatives isn’t likely to hold a veto override session – which Hawaii State Senators have said they would do – the civil unions bill appears dead until next year, when Hawaii will have a new governor (Lingle is termed out this year). The Democratic nominee, Neil Abercrombie, released a statement criticizing the veto:

Governor Lingle has made her choice and the Legislature has said it will not go back into a special session for any veto overrides. 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.

Others have vowed to go to court. Lambda Legal and the ACLU put out a press release outlining their plans to file a lawsuit:

Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai’i (ACLU) reacted today with deep disappointment following Hawai’i Governor Linda Lingle’s veto of HB 444, which would have allowed gay and straight Hawai’i couples to take legal responsibility for each other by entering civil unions. Having received strong majority votes by both houses of the Hawai’i Legislature, the bill was given final approval on April 29, the last day of the session. Lingle had until July 6 to take action on the bill.

“This was a sad surrender to political expediency that does not support business or family interests, but damages them,” said Jennifer C. Pizer, National Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal. “In caving in to a well-orchestrated disinformation campaign mounted by the bill’s opponents, Governor Lingle has abandoned thousands of Hawai’i families who have needed this bill’s protections for many years. We’re also disappointed that the Legislature opted to not override this veto immediately — we would have preferred to see couples win fair treatment through the political branch rather than having to pursue legal action. However, we’re still ready to do what’s necessary so our clients can protect their loved ones.”

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 weighed in as well:

“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.”

“Today was the first time a civil unions bill passed both Houses in Hawaii by solid margins and was on the Governor’s desk for signing,” said Jo-Ann Adams, Chair of the GLBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. “With such broad support from the legislators, who are the elected officials closest to the public, and the consistent results of the professional polls showing broad support for civil unions as a civil rights issue, we are deeply disappointed that the Governor ignored the will of the people and vetoed the bill. We are determined, no matter how many sessions and election cycles it takes, to achieve full recognition for our families.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

It’s clear that this fight will continue beyond yesterday’s veto – as well it should. Whether it’s through a lawsuit or through electing a pro-civil unions governor or in the courts, this battle isn’t over. Karen Ocamb has an excellent post about the scope of that battle, including an in-depth look at the way the Religious Right, including the Mormon and Catholic Churches, are likely to get involved over the next few months, and into 2011.

106 Comments

  • 1. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 7, 2010 at 4:41 am

    Subscribing

    ( Robert surely likes to write lengthy posts! :) )

  • 2. Ben Lewis  |  July 7, 2010 at 4:51 am

    Excellent post! I actually commented on Facebook when this first broke, that this really shows the opposition's true colours ; it's not about preserving the term « marriage », it's about a consistent animus against a minority. Since the minority has obvious characteristics which lend themselves to being discriminated against by a larger group, this would seem to me to immediately require higher scrutiny than rational basis. I wonder if an amicus curiæ will result from this ?

  • 3. Ben  |  July 7, 2010 at 4:59 am

    Whoops. Subscribing. ¬_¬

  • 4. Andrew_WA  |  July 7, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Yes – it is a sad day.

    Hawaii *used* to be my favorite place to go, but if I am second class, I guess the only thing I am good for is spending my money there.

    They appear eager to take my money for their ailing economy… but as far as acknowledging my exsistance as an equal human being, I guess there is no time for that. Cash, please!

    I will send a note to the Hawaiian tourism board and let them know that my annual trips to support their ailing economy are up for grabs. I expect to be treated no less than anyone else.

    If this is how they feel about my demographic, then I have no time for them.

    I am just one person, but I refuse to accept crumbs anymore. I get a seat at the table or they go no money from me.

    I am waaaay too old for this religious bias.

  • 5. nightshayde  |  July 7, 2010 at 5:12 am

    Shame on Governor Lingle, and on all others who believe that civil rights should be voted on rather than guaranteed.

  • 6. Alan E.  |  July 7, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Subscribing, too.

    (I like the extra detailed thought)

  • 7. Richard W. Fitch  |  July 7, 2010 at 5:36 am

    I'm all for the LSD church, NOM and the other fanatics making their noise heard – as long as they are held to full disclosure of their operations and taxed like any other PAC.

  • 8. Kathleen  |  July 7, 2010 at 5:49 am

    I worshiped in the LSD church for a while in the '60s and '70s. :)

    (really, just subscribing)

  • 9. JonT  |  July 7, 2010 at 5:54 am

    (الاشتراك)

  • 10. JonT  |  July 7, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Is there any specific reason the legislature cannot come back into a special session and override her veto? Other than maybe they don't want to give up their vacations for a bunch of homos?

    The Senate seems to have the numbers. Don't know about the house.

    I know the Gov was getting slammed by all of the religious haters out there, but it seems pretty obvious that they did not have to push her very hard.

  • 11. AB  |  July 7, 2010 at 6:05 am

    What does this do for our momentum?

  • 12. Jeff  |  July 7, 2010 at 6:08 am

    The House is 3 votes short of an override

  • 13. JonT  |  July 7, 2010 at 6:12 am

    3 votes. damn. :(

  • 14. Rebecca  |  July 7, 2010 at 6:32 am

    This is so painfully ironic:

    Proponents of Prop 8 are saying civil unions in California are enough and that they are not the same thing as full marriage.

    And then the right wing governor says civil unions are essentially the same thing as marriage in her mind, so since she is against same-sex marriage, she's against same-sex civil unions too.

    This lady must be planning on running for the Senate at some point. Otherwise why, at the end of her term, would she still cave to pressure from the religious right?

  • 15. AB  |  July 7, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Hey Robert, I actually have a question.
    Will the attorneys write Judge Walker another letter? It seems to me like they should, because this story only indicates that: even when it comes to civil unions, when gays and lesbians do have limited victories, those victories will be negated for the sake of a popular vote. Doesn't this prove that gays are politically powerless? Should our attorneys point this out to Judge Walker?

  • 16. whabbear  |  July 7, 2010 at 6:33 am

    If Governor Lingle vetoed this DP bill because she considered it indistinguishable from marriage, what form of DP bill would she have supported? What specific rights and obligations would have had to be removed from the current DP definition to render it distinguishable? Government pensions for the survivors of same-sex government workers? Hospital visitation rights equivalent to those available to married couples? How degraded and diminished would the relationships of same-sex couples compared to opposite-sex couples have had to have been?

  • 17. Monty  |  July 7, 2010 at 6:34 am

    The religious right are masters of doublethink. Give them any position, and they'll figure out a way to justify it in their minds.

  • 18. Rebecca  |  July 7, 2010 at 6:34 am

    I actually wish this had happened before the Prop 8 trial so Boies would have had even more evidence that these kinds of laws are motivated by animus against the LGBT community.

  • 19. Felyx  |  July 7, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Oh My Fucking Gawd!!!! This is so damn blatant it is truly disgusting!!! If there was a demonic Satan, father of all lies surely she is his daughter!!!

    "I have been open and consistent in my opposition to same gender marriage and find that HB 444 is essentially marriage by another name."

    But,but…isn't that what you wanted? Everything but the name?!!! Give them all the rights and protections and obligations but just don't call it marriage?..!!! Right? Isn't that your platform…your belief?..!!!!!

    Dingle-berry, you are a blatantly lying sick egregiously hateful dishonest filthy foul-mouthed two-faced perverted monstrous unchristian twisted fallacious fraudulent
    deceptively prevaricating ugly deceitful demented unholy sacrilegious grotesque ill-natured scoundrelly scrofulous misleading malcontented untrustworthy crooked corrupt dishonorable hate-mongering insincere blackguardly thieving
    abominable detestable execrable odious offensive…..

    Why don't you just tell the damn truth!!!

    YOU HATES DA GAYZ!!!

    Felyx – Not sure why I am so stunned….just didn't expect the hatred to be SOOOOOO obvious!!!!! (I am sure only Uganda would think she was being polite and conservative!)

  • 20. JonT  |  July 7, 2010 at 6:59 am

    @whabbear, what an excellent point!

    Exactly which rights should have been withheld to make the DP bill more palatable to her?

    Hmmm.

    Of course, that was probably just her excuse. She just doesn't like the icky gays (except when she poses for pictures with them: http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2010/07/hunt-for-lin… )

  • 21. Monty  |  July 7, 2010 at 7:01 am

    "See? I have gay friends! I can't be a homophobe."

  • 22. JonT  |  July 7, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Via Joe.My.God: Uganda Beheading Story A Hoax
    http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2010/07/uganda-behea

    Hmm.

  • 23. Ray in MA  |  July 7, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Note the video about Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona in the link, and then read this:
    http://www.religiousrightwatch.com/2010/04/hawaii

    These people are SICK, have we any hope reasoning with this kind of igorance and power?

    SCARY!

  • 24. Ray in MA  |  July 7, 2010 at 8:06 am

    and if you have a strong stomach and you are not anxiety prone, read this:
    http://www.talk2action.org/story/2010/4/17/112159

  • 25. Michelle Evans  |  July 7, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Okay, my $0.02. It might have been nice if this legislation passed in Hawaii, but on the other hand, in some ways I am glad it didn't. (Please don't start throwing stones yet!!!)

    My point here is that I absolutely believe in the right for anyone to get married if they so choose. As those of you who know me on this site already know, I am in a same gender marriage already, with it's own set of complications to deal with due to the difficulties faced by transgender people.

    My wife are Married–Not Civil Unionized!

    If this had passed, then I think it may have set back the idea of full marriage equality in Hawaii–and elsewhere. We must not settle for CUs or DPs, or anything else anyone wants to throw our way as a bone of appeasement. Since this did not pass, it will hopefully re-energize the LGBT community to go after full marriage equality. Period! Nothing less is acceptable. No CU or DP, with the supposed same rights, is not and never will be, enough.

    Separate but equal is not equal. We want it all and we are tired of being third and fourth class citizens.

  • 26. Sagesse  |  July 7, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I read this back when HB 444 was passed. The article doesn't say so, but I was left with the feeling that Lingle's first stop in deciding whether to veto was to talk to her religious advisors. And I'm sure the Mormon church wasn't far behind. With their organizational skills, imagine their delight at having to woo just one vote to get their way.

    Hawaii gov consults with rabbis on civil unions
    By HERBERT A. SAMPLE (AP) – Jun 12, 2010

    The law was passed by the legislature, and it wasn't particularly close. The onus is on her to explain why she thought it so important to veto it. She has nothing to lose, she's termed out, so why not put her stamp on something she truly believes.

  • 27. fiona64  |  July 7, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I have never had the remotest interest in traveling to Hawaii (given it's popularity, a lot of people find this surprising). This just further cements my decision.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 28. fiona64  |  July 7, 2010 at 8:11 am

    HB444 was all Mormon, all the time.

    I am sure that they have not taken their finger out of that particular pie.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 29. fiona64  |  July 7, 2010 at 8:13 am

    http://www.dallasvoice.com/instant-tea/hb444-the-

    Interesting commentary on the matter, as it appears that a significant portion of Hawaii's population is LDS.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 30. Sagesse  |  July 7, 2010 at 8:15 am

    This doesn't want to post… don't know why. Missing link from above.
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM

  • 31. bJason  |  July 7, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Boycott Hawai'i!!!

    If they want our money they will reconvene and override!

    Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau
    
2270 Kalakaua Avenue,
    Suite 801
Honolulu, HI 96815
    
From U.S. and Canada: 1-800-GoHawaii (1-800-464-2924)
Email: info@hvcb.org

  • 32. Ben  |  July 7, 2010 at 8:43 am

    I was reading that … I finally had to set it aside, because it was just too awful. The worst part is, they seriously believe in this stuff. It reads like some sick joke!

    As a side note, there is a prayer group at the high school I used to go to … I do not think it was involved in this, but still, it makes me feel even more queasy about that narrow a boundary between church and state.

  • 33. Monty  |  July 7, 2010 at 8:46 am

    I swear I commented on this earlier…Every time I read something like this. my already weak faith in humanity continues to crumble. The fact that normal people act like that is bad enough, but elected officials? Hawaii is screwed.

  • 34. Paul  |  July 7, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Hi Andrew…
    You said it all !! I only wish we could get our act together and legally boycott anyone & anthing that doesn't support our equal rights. It's is and always has been about $$$$$$$
    We need to use that to our advantage and let them know that we care enough to put our money where our mouth is.
    It would be a little bit of work on our part…but well worth the effort.

  • 35. fiona64  |  July 7, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Boycotts are most assuredly legal, to say nothing of being a tradition going back to the late 19th C. during the Irish Land War.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boycott

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 36. fiona64  |  July 7, 2010 at 9:12 am

    PS — the action was happening way earlier than the era that gave such behavior the name. :-)

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 37. Shun  |  July 7, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Another sad day indeed.

    ——-

    In other news, after Atlanta, Georgina, Tumwater, WA became the 22nd city to pass a resolution in support of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). Two cities in two days!!!!!!!!! As you may know, it is the immigration bill with the most co-sponsors that call for binational couples to be able to sponsor their foreign partner.
    Here’s a complete list of the cities (and one state) so far:
    • State of California
    • City of Albany, NY
    • City of Atlanta, GA
    • City of Berkeley, CA
    • City of Binghamton, NY
    • City of Cambridge, MA
    • City of Campbell, CA
    • City of Chapel Hill, NC
    • City of Chicago, IL
    • City of Ferndale, MI
    • City of Hartford, CT
    • City of Los Angeles, CA
    • City of Miami Beach, FL
    • City of Minneapolis, MN
    • City of New Orleans, LA
    • City of New York, NY
    • City of San Francisco, CA
    • City of St. Louis, MO
    • City of Seattle, WA
    • City of Troy, NY
    • City of Tumwater, WA
    • City of Washington, DC
    • City of West Hollywood, CA
    If you don’t see your city and can help out, please E-mail tom@out4immigration.org to help move UAFA forward in your State.

  • 38. Tigger  |  July 7, 2010 at 10:04 am

    What am illustrious group of localities! I could live and vacation in each place.

  • 39. Ben  |  July 7, 2010 at 10:11 am

    I live in St. Paul, MN ( the other half of the Twin Cities … I wonder why it's not on the list ? ) and I can say, it's a great place to be. The local GLBT magazine, Lavender, is really active and has a wide readership.

  • 40. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 7, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I hear what you're saying, but I think that civil unions are often a "stepping stone" to full marriage equality. CUs are passed, people realize that their way of life isn't damaged, they get comfortable with legal recognition of same-sex relationships, and the next step is easier. On the other hand, this case, like that of Washington state, shows that the Religious Right is not OK with civil unions, even when they attempt to use it as a fallback in lieu of marriage equality (see California, Maine, New Jersey, etc.).

  • 41. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 7, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I can't really come up with a silver lining beyond the fact that this case, as I noted above, proves once more that the objection is not to marriage, but to legal recognition of same-sex relationship. In the hope of presenting something positive and Hawaii-related, here is some Israel "Bruddah IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole.

    [youtube =http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALFoTW4DY64&hl=en_US&fs=1]

  • 42. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 7, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Of course, I am even angrier at the cowards in the Hawai'i legislature who are too afraid of losing their seats to call a special session and override Governor LIngle's veto. They knew this was a strong possibility (after all, the woman is a repugnican), so they should have been man enough and woman enough to go ahead and schedule the special session to override the veto. In my eyes, they are as much to blame as Governor LIngle is, if not more so.

  • 43. Kathleen  |  July 7, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I have this CD – love it!

  • 44. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 7, 2010 at 10:28 am

    JonT, what language is that?

  • 45. Kathleen  |  July 7, 2010 at 10:33 am

    It looks like Arabic – I'm guessing "subscribe"

  • 46. Shun  |  July 7, 2010 at 10:43 am

    if thats the case, can you (or someone you know thats active) contact Tom to see if you can get your city to pass a resolution for UAFA too? Perhaps it's just no one's thought to do it yet.

  • 47. Shun  |  July 7, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I think this describes the veto perfectly:

    <blockquote cite="That statement from Lingle should be a major eye opener to the entire country. A consistent message from the conservative right during the Proposition 8 campaign in California was that the LGBT community already had equal rights with domestic partnerships. Proposition 8 supporters claimed that the LGBT community just wanted the “word” marriage. When Lingle chose to veto equal protections for Hawaiian LGBT citizens because “House Bill 444 is essentially marriage by another name,” she basically told the entire country that marriage is more than a word; it’s about equal protections, equal rights, and equal responsibilities. ">

  • 48. Shun  |  July 7, 2010 at 10:50 am

    "That statement from Lingle should be a major eye opener to the entire country. A consistent message from the conservative right during the Proposition 8 campaign in California was that the LGBT community already had equal rights with domestic partnerships. Proposition 8 supporters claimed that the LGBT community just wanted the “word” marriage. When Lingle chose to veto equal protections for Hawaiian LGBT citizens because “House Bill 444 is essentially marriage by another name,” she basically told the entire country that marriage is more than a word; it’s about equal protections, equal rights, and equal responsibilities. "

  • 49. Dave  |  July 7, 2010 at 10:51 am

    So the Governor said this:

    "…I am vetoing this bill because I have become convinced… This is a decision that should not be made by one person sitting in her office …"

    But is that not *exactly* what she just did with her veto?
    What are elected representatives for, then?

  • 50. nightshayde  |  July 7, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Unfortunately, there IS no reasoning with these people. Logic and science are completely beyond them.

    It's not even worth it to argue with them. All you'll do is get your blood pressure up.

    It will be much more satisfying to thumb our collective noses at them when the courts eventually declare marriage equality to be the law of the land. Then we can give a great big "neener -neener – neener," and tell them to preach to someone who gives a rat's backside what they say.

  • 51. Ray in MA  |  July 7, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Well, you're making up for it now.

  • 52. Aaron  |  July 7, 2010 at 11:15 am

    good questions. someone smarter than i please share!

  • 53. Ray in MA  |  July 7, 2010 at 11:16 am

    That's rediculous, she did DECIDE as one person!!!

  • 54. Ray in MA  |  July 7, 2010 at 11:18 am

    BOYCOTT! One Pineapple at a time!

  • 55. Kathleen  |  July 7, 2010 at 11:37 am

    I was making a funny because Richard scrambled the letters… LSD was my vice, not LDS :)

  • 56. Sagesse  |  July 7, 2010 at 11:41 am

    I tend to agree, Straight Ally, but for a slightly different reason. It is better to say that there is marriage equality in 5 states plus DC and 'almost marriage' civil unions/ domestic partnerships in 8 (?), to give an indication of the level of support for legal recognition in some form. The question mark is because I lose track of which ones have comprehensive CU/DP laws.

    The other data point that is rarely tracked, but should be, is the % of the population that live in states with marriage equality laws. If the Supreme Court is looking for indications of acceptance, surely that counts as much as number of states. California has a lot of people.

  • 57. Michelle Evans  |  July 7, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I thank bJason for posting the contact info for the Hawaii Tourism office. I called their office and they were just as mad as we were about this, and apparently have already received many calls expressing their outrage over what their governor did. I was also told that they are absolutely keeping track of these calls, so I highly recommend calling yourself, and getting everyone you know to call. Tell them Hawaii is off the vacation list as long as equality is off their list.

  • 58. Ben  |  July 7, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Obviously, elected representatives are in place to ignore the presiding sentiments of the public, as embodied by the elected representatives … oh, wait. paradox.

  • 59. Sagesse  |  July 7, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    One step at a time…

    [Presbyterian Church] USA could be largest to OK 'gay marriage'
    http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/BPnews.asp?ID=3329

  • 60. JonT  |  July 7, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Arabic – "subscribe" :)

    I'm trying to be creative (with google translate :).

  • 61. JonT  |  July 7, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Yeah, that pretty much says it all. :(

  • 62. JonT  |  July 7, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    @Dave: Logic? Really?? :) Come on, you know they don't do 'logic'.

    Funny thing is (as has been mentioned before), the people had already voted: To allow the legislature to decide.

    Neat circle of hate.

  • 63. JonT  |  July 7, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Pages and pages of hate and ignorance.

    Don't need to read the whole thing. Skimming it is quite enough.

    They see this as some kind of war, and there are no rules in their war. They are haters, pure and simple. Convinced of their own righteousness.

    You don't bother reasoning with people like that. They are on the wrong side. History has shown that hate will occasionally win battles, but they never win the war.

    Fuck em.

  • 64. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 7, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Scare quotes!

  • 65. Shun  |  July 7, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    congrats on starting college soon!

    it seems like the process itself isn't that difficult? like i know that the newest city passed the resolution thanks to the efforts of one person

    so anything is possible!

  • 66. JonT  |  July 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    הירשם

    According to http://translate.google.com :)

  • 67. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 7, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Thanks. I have tried to access that, but I guess it doesn't like Firefox. One of the few things I haven't been able to do.

  • 68. Ben  |  July 7, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    I’m planning on doing that … I’ll shoot off an email and see about this. Unfortunately, I’m headed off to college in not too long, and I will thus not be able to get adequately involved. However, I’ll see if I can get the ball rolling!

  • 69. Sagesse  |  July 7, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Richard,

    As I understand it, the bill passed both houses with a strong majority (can’t find the exact vote count, but it didn’t squeak through). The vote in the senate was veto-proof, but the the count in the house was short, and I get the sense they didn’t think they could close the gap… and why should they have to, if the vote was clear. I think they just dared her to overturn an unambiguous vote of the legislature (she’d said she would veto all along) and she did.

  • 70. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 7, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    (This is gonna get stuck in moderation, but all links here lead to Wikipedia articles about governmental recognition of same-sex marriages and other unions state by state in the US.)

    Status of same-sex civil marriage, civil unions and registered partnerships can be found in a Wikipedia template — Same-sex unions (including all other countries) [see the table in the right part of the page].

    United States situation as of July 2010:
       ♦ Same-sex marriages:
          • Performed in 5 states (CT, IA, MA, NH, VT), 1 federal district (DC), 1 Indian tribe (Coquille).
          • Recognized, not performed in 4 states: CA (conditional), MD, NY, RI.
       ♦ Civil unions and registered partnerships:
          • Performed in 9 states: CA, CO, HI, ME, NJ, NV, OR, WA, WI.
       ♦ Unregistered co-habitation:
          • In some regions of 2 states: MD, RI.

  • 71. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 7, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    I understand what you’re saying, Sagesse. But it still does not change the fact that they were too cowardly to schedule a special session and work toward overriding her veto. We can only hope that the next governor brings this up and that marriage equality finally becomes the law of the land in Hawai’i.

  • 72. bJason  |  July 7, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    You're welcome!

    Check this out: http://gay.americablog.com/2010/07/win-against-tr

    I'm actually proud of my home state for once!

    <3

  • 73. Sagesse  |  July 7, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Wouldn't it be nice if the legislators in Hawaii got so mad at the governor's arrogance that they scrounged the (is it 3?) missing votes and had a recall session anyway?

    From the sounds of it, the Republican contenders for governor are more of the same or worse. The Democrat, Abercrombie, seems to be ok… anyone know Hawaii politics. Does the Democrat have a chance?

  • 74. New  |  July 7, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    "This is a decision that should not be made by one person sitting in her office…"
    Isn't a VETO a decision made by one person sitting in her office?

  • 75. TPAKyle  |  July 7, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    A little off topic, but here's an opportunity to strike back at NOM by commenting on their flickr photo set of the Summer H8 Bus.

    A couple of the comments provided a much-needed giggle after the news form Hawaii.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/50933783@N07/sets/72

  • 76. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 7, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Cool. I wonder what “subscribe” looks like in Hebrew.

  • 77. Josh  |  July 8, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Nothing but hypocrites. When marriage is a possibility in a state, they say they're ok with CUs, just not the word marriage. But in this case they say CU is too similar to marriage so no. Hypocrites and liars. How un-christian!

  • 78. Rhonda  |  July 8, 2010 at 12:24 am

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aaron-zelinsky/lind

    Looks like she picks and chooses which state constitutional rights are valid…. :(

  • 79. Rose W.  |  July 8, 2010 at 12:26 am

    …and this is why I'm seriously thinking of moving to the Netherlands. I am so sick and tired of this crap.

  • 80. Sagesse  |  July 8, 2010 at 12:31 am

    Please don't shoot the messenger :). The scare quotes were already in the title. The article suggests there are steps yet to come, but the sentiment at the head of the church is positive.

  • 81. Franck  |  July 8, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Hahaha, oh, wow, not one supporter has commented on the picture yet. And I see there are many pro-equality Christians posting their displeasure as well, that's excellent.

    The only downside I see with the comment flood is that they'll use it as proof of "persecution" against them again. Oh yeah, poor them, not being allowed to sit on people's rights in peace…

  • 82. James Sweet  |  July 8, 2010 at 12:58 am

    There is at least one word in the phrase "representative democracy" that these bigots seem to have difficulty parsing. Hint: It's not the second one.

  • 83. Wren  |  July 8, 2010 at 12:58 am

    Rose, I'm with ya. I was thinking Spain. I've had it with this country. I'll take my law degree and move to a country where I can already live as a full citizen, free from the voodoo Christian cult of the U.S. that will still have an influence even when/if we get our full equal legal rights here.

  • 84. Billy  |  July 8, 2010 at 1:24 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxlPVSAnWOo

    Thanks to my fiancé Bruce (we're now engaged!) for this interesting video link. Puts a lot of things into perspective, but I doubt those that really need to watch it will do so.

    Ignorance is bliss.

  • 85. JonT  |  July 8, 2010 at 1:54 am

    @Richard: I’m using FF 3.6 in a UTF-8 locale. Seems to work w/o problems. I’m on Linux though, if that makes any diff.

  • 86. Franck  |  July 8, 2010 at 1:59 am

    I can't watch the video due to network limitations, but congrats on being engaged!

  • 87. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 8, 2010 at 2:31 am

    Boys and Girls!
    Let’s BoyCott them and GirlCott them! :)

  • 88. Bob  |  July 8, 2010 at 2:32 am

    Wren and Rose, I hear what you're saying, but there really is no geographical move that would cure or free you from the voodoo Chrisitian Cult, unless you also assume their level of ignorance, which for people like us, would require the assistance of lobotomy, or as in my case heavy medications, so one could live happily in their own little world, without a thought of what is happening in other places..

    I am constantly told by friends, to stop reading this blog, because it is disturbing, they don't want to hear about what happens to Rainbow people in Uganda, or how voodoo cults have found a way to use the Freedom of Religion to assault the rights and freedoms of our people in the most powerful country on the globe.

    It is an enticing dream to move to a place where you will be free, but that place only exists if you are able to live in ignorance, enjoy your own little life, and forget about everyone else.

    That is a choice, in my idyllic life floating free on an Island of the Coast of Canada, I am blessed, yesterday, buying car insurance, I asked about putting my partners name on title to the car, she asked are you guys married (this is a very small community) she sees us together, I said yes , she said no prolbem, we just sign a paper to that effect and it becomes shared property, No problem isn't that nice, so idylllic,

    And may I add there are a number of gay couples here , some just recently moved from CALIFORNIA, ya it's a happy free life, if you are able to disconnect yourself from who we are as RAinbow people, and our real connections, as family.

    I am unable to feel freedom, until you do, but I also cannot feel a false sense of freedom as many do by creating a shield of ignorance or innocense about the realities of our journey together.

  • 89. Ronnie  |  July 8, 2010 at 2:49 am

    The thing that makes me ubber sick about that disgraceful ugly excuse for human….is that she took pictures with LGBT & straight supporters at & 4th of July picnic….all happy & smiling..2 faced B!tch….. > ( …Ronnie

  • 90. Bob  |  July 8, 2010 at 3:04 am

    Billy congrats, and I loved the video, and wanted to comment, re that garden of Eden, and the tree of knowledge, it always gets the notice, but that story also includes the tree of LIFE, which seems to be forgotten, the empohasis has always been on the apple, the bite, sin, and sexual moraltiy, perhaps it;s time to remember the other tree in the garden, the one giving life, which opens us all to the possiblities of all that Carl Sagan has to say about science the univierse, and us living in and partaking of life.

  • 91. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 8, 2010 at 3:42 am

    @Shun

    I’m trying to get Felyx add his city to the list.
    Your message that one person managed to do that is really inspiring!
    We really need more cities and states to join!
    I really need that, for I am a part of a binational couple
    (my other half is an American)!

    Somebody said that UAFA (sponsoring a same-sex partner — foreign national) is just bread crumbs that mean nothing to us until we get full equality.  I understand that, but the thing is, some of us can afford waiting for the full equality — they have their partners in their arms, and that is more important than a piece of paper that will give them all the rights and benefits of marriage; however, binational couples often cannot be together and have to wait years and years before they could be in each other’s arms without a fear of being deported forever — this is why even these bread crumbs are so important, and just like in the fairy tail, those bread crumbs will eventually bring us to where we want to be!

  • 92. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 8, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Oh I know, I know! I saw "Southern Baptist Press" and knew full well what I was in for. I've had good interactions with the PC USA, I can't imagine that many in the SBC consider them True Christians™.

  • 93. John B.  |  July 8, 2010 at 5:31 am

    Very good question, especially considering what she said while campaigning in 2002: "On the issue of domestic partnerships, I have stated that if the Legislature (should) pass legislation granting certain rights I would not veto that legislation." But now that she HAS vetoed their legislation, we're just going to have to continue to wonder what "certain rights" she thinks gay couples deserve.

    What it boils down to is that it's "judicial activism" if we pursue our rights in the courts (unless of course the courts rule against us–then it's okay), nor are we allowed to appeal to "out of touch" legislatures (unless of course they legislate against us–and then it's okay) or the executive branch (unless of course the governor vetoes the legislation, which they can usually be counted on to do, and that's okay). Might makes right, and don't you forget it! As long as there is one single person more than a popular majority left living and breathing who opposes our rights, we are not allowed to have them. So… why do we need the courts, or the legislatures, or the executives in the first place?

    What a kooky idea our founding fathers had, creating a system of representative democracy (and deeming it so important as to guarantee it to every state in Art. 4 Sect. 4 of the U.S. Constitution).

  • 94. Kathleen  |  July 8, 2010 at 5:42 am

    I understand the desire to move, though. While we may encounter ignorance and bigotry, it would at least be a comfort to know that the laws of the country are on our side.

    The connection between the attitudes of the people and the laws of the state are two way. While it is true that the laws can reflect the attitudes, it's also true that the laws influence people's attitudes. When gay and transgender people are protected by law, at the very least the bigots must refrain from some of their hateful expressions and behavior, and at best, it gives the culture a chance to see lives lived openly, which in turn can effect change in attitudes.

    @Wren, are you practicing law now, or still studying? Where at, if you don't mind saying… just curious.

  • 95. Kathleen  |  July 8, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Contrast that WONDERFUL video (I miss you Carl) with this mind numbing tidbit from Bob Jones U: http://www.bjupress.com/ecamp/science-camp-bible-

  • 96. JonT  |  July 8, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Oh, those comments are great!

  • 97. JonT  |  July 8, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Yeah, that picture said a thousand words didn't it. :(

  • 98. Jeff  |  July 8, 2010 at 6:57 am

    BREAKING: Federal Court Rules Defense Of Marriage Act To Be Unconstitutional!!!
    http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2010/07/breaking-fed

  • 99. JonT  |  July 8, 2010 at 7:00 am

    WOW! The bible mentioned 14 whole types of BUGS!!! I guess the rest do not exist, since they are not mentioned in the bible! Maybe those others are GAY bugs!

    /sarcasm

    Un-freaking-believable that this passes as 'science' for these morons.

    PS: Note my scare quotes. :)

  • 100. Alan E.  |  July 8, 2010 at 7:06 am

    WOOO HOOOOOO!!

    Although this is only step 1. I will read through the full ruling as soon as I can.

  • 101. Monty  |  July 8, 2010 at 7:07 am

    A lot of people don't realize that the U.S. isn't even a democracy. It's a constitutional republic.

  • 102. Rhonda  |  July 8, 2010 at 7:08 am

    New blog post is positively delightful

  • 103. Alan E.  |  July 8, 2010 at 7:12 am

    a democratic republic. There are still many things that we vote for directly on the state and local levels.

  • 104. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 8, 2010 at 11:04 am

    And thanks to grassroots action, NBC has now opened up the Today Show's Wedding Contest to same-sex couples. You and Bruce should enter.

  • 105. Rose  |  July 9, 2010 at 1:05 am

    I've never felt like one of the GLBT community. Ever. I didn't when I first "came out" (I was never really in the closet) as bisexual and faced biphobia within the community, and I don't now. I just don't connect with the subculture — it's not my own. My partner doesn't fit either because she's a transwoman and the lesbian community has, in general, rejected her.

    My DP and I are torn between crawling deeper into the Santa Cruz mountains (and hoping no one notices us) and moving to the NL. We love it here in Santa Cruz county — it's absolutely gorgeous — but during the Prop 8 campaign we saw the signs in our own community. And this is a damned liberal area. I even saw it on my university campus (San Jose). I'm just…really tired of this. We shouldn't even be debating it.

  • 106. Franck  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Quick update on that picture: aw, all the comments disappeared, including mine which I'd just posted. Overwhelmed by the welcome trashing they received, were they?

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1118 days, as of today.

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