Governor Lingle continues to weigh impact of civil unions in Hawaii

Hawaii governor, Linda Lingle, wants to hear from both sides before she makes a decision on civil unions -- and she held the first of two private meetings on Monday.

She's talking to people both for and against the measure that would extend the same rights as marriage to same-sex couples.

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Op-Ed: Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle should sign civil unions bill

Jonathan Capehart urges Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (R) to sign the state's civil unions bill: "Making HB 444 the law in Hawaii wouldn't make Lingle a radical. It would put her in a growing mainstream. It would put her on the right side of history. And it would confirm her as a leader -- which is how any aspirant for future elective office should want to be viewed."

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Hawaii governor to decide on civil unions

Whether civil unions for same-sex couples become legal in Hawaii is now up to Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, whose office was flooded Friday with phone calls and e-mails from gay rights and religious groups after the bill won approval in the waning moments of the legislative session.

Lingle has long avoided saying whether she would veto the measure or allow it to become law. She has until July 6 to make a decision.

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Statement from Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry, on Hawaii civil union vote

Hawaii House of Representatives Joins the State Senate in Overwhelming Support for Civil Union Bill

"Step in the Right Direction, Though Short of Marriage"

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Hawaii State House passes civil unions bill in last hours of session

The bill to legalize civil unions of same-sex couples in Hawaii passed the State House by a 31-20 vote on Thursday in the last hours of the 2010 legislative session.

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Op-Ed: Hawaii civil unions bill must be voted on

One of the easier ways for legislators who are up for re-election to protect their seats is to prevent controversial bills from coming to the floor. That is exactly what is happening to Hawaii House Bill 444, the bill concerning civil unions that passed in the Senate and was subsequently derailed by Calvin Say and other scared and anonymous legislators in the House.

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Trial in Prop 8 Case Is Challenged

Opponents of the freedom to marry have long said the issue does not belong in the courts. Lately they have gone a step further.

They say Judge Vaughn R. Walker, the chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, made a serious mistake by calling for a trial in a challenge to California’s ban on marriage equality rather than deciding the case based on paper submissions.

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Hawaii backers of civil unions plan suit

Honolulu Advertiser
February 2, 2010
Gay-rights advocates are preparing a lawsuit alleging that the state is violating the equal protection rights of same-sex couples by not passing a civil-unions law. The state House voted on Friday to indefinitely postpone action on civil unions. The lawsuit will be based on a 1993 Hawaii Supreme Court ruling which held that denying the freedom to marry was a violation of equal-protection rights under the state Constitution. [Link]

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Hawaii House Indefinitely Postpones Action on Civil-Unions Bill

Honolulu Advertiser
February 1, 2010
The Hawaii state House voted Friday to indefinitely postpone any action on a civil unions bill in this session unless two-thirds of lawmakers vote to bring the bill back for consideration. [Link]

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Hawaii postpones civil unions bill indefinitely

January 29, 2010

Last year the civil unions bill passed the Hawaii House by a vote of 33-to 17. One week ago, the Senate passed the bill 18-7. But on Friday the House voted to postpone indefinitely the civil unions bill for gay and heterosexual couples. Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry, who was co-counsel in the historic Hawaii marriage case, Baehr v. Miike, which started the whole thing, said:

Losing ground? No way. We don’t win every battle, and we definitely need to strengthen our reaching out to more Americans to bring them into our cause (which is what Freedom to Marry’s expansion is all about). But after a decade of inaction, we got both houses of the Hawaii legislature to pass a civil union bill, just not in sync — and remember, when we started this movement in Hawaii, there was no place in the world where same-sex couples could marry. Now we’ve got five states, our nation’s capital, eight countries, and more shimmering within reach.

The Democratic president [Bill Clinton] who signed the so-called “DOMA” as we were doing the trial in Hawaii now supports the freedom to marry and has called for “DOMA”’s repeal, as did the Republican congressman [Bob Barr] who wrote it.

More than a hundred million Americans now live in a state that provides some level of statewide recognition of same-sex couples and their families — up from virtually zero a decade ago.

We have a lot more to do, as Freedom to Marry works to build a majority for marriage, win more states, and build toward a federal victory…but by any historical measure, we’ve gained and are gaining ground, and the future is ours. [Link]

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