Gov. Lingle vetoes civil unions bill, legislature won't challenge
HONOLULU, Hawaii: On July 6, Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed HB 444, which would have given the same rights and benefits to gay and lesbian couples that the state currently provides married couples. The veto ended weeks of speculation, as Lingle waited until the last possible day to act on the legislation before it would have become law without her signature.
At a press conference, Lingle stated, "There has not been a bill I have contemplated more or an issue I have thought more deeply about during my eight years as governor than House Bill 444 and the institution of marriage. 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." She went on to say that voters should decide the fate of civil unions, not politicians.
No further action is expected to take place on civil unions this year, as legislative leaders said that they would not challenge a veto. Gov. Lingle leaves office in December.