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

As posted by Jonathan Capehart on washingtonpost.com:

"I praised Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (R) last week for not pandering to "birthers" and signing a law that squashed their numerous requests for President Obama's birth certificate. But now it looks like I found an issue that the term-limited Lingle is in danger of using to pander to her base, thus keeping her political options open for a future run for office: the freedom to marry.

"During a 2002 debate when she was a candidate for governor, Lingle said, "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."

"Well, the legislature did just that late last month. And, so far, Lingle hasn't taken action. In fact, the governor seems a bit all over the place.

..."Marriage equality burst onto the American political radar and put the Aloha State at the forefront of a national debate in 1993, when the Hawaiian Supreme Court ruled that there was no compelling state interest in denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Since then, either by court order or by proactive legislation, the freedom to marry is now legal in five states and the District of Columbia. Another five states have approved domestic partnerships or civil unions.

"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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