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Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle To Possibly Veto Civil Unions Bill

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Governor places HB 444 on list of potential vetoes, has until July 6th to act

HONOLULU – Equality Hawaii, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, today announced disappointment in Governor Linda Lingle’s decision to place HB 444, Hawaii’s Civil Unions legislation, on the list of potential vetoes.

“We’re disappointed that the Governor has decided to place HB 444 on the list of potential vetoes,” said Alan Spector, legislative affairs co-chair for Equality Hawaii.  “While we appreciate her thoughtful consideration of this matter, dragging this issue out any longer is of benefit to no one, including the thousands of Hawaii families who would receive equal treatment under the law if civil unions are approved. We urge the Governor to do what’s in the best interest of these families and the state of Hawaii, which is to make this bill the law in Hawaii.”

“The Human Rights Campaign shares in the disappointment of thousands of Hawaii’s families who await equal treatment under Hawaii law,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign.  “We have stood with advocates for equality in Hawaii through good times and bad and we pledge to remain a loyal partner for fairness and dignity in the Aloha State. We urge Governor Lingle to have the courage and conviction to do the right thing and make civil unions the law in Hawaii.”

Governor Lingle now has until July 6th to sign the bill, veto it or allow it to become law without her signature.

HRC and Equality Hawaii are launching statewide action alerts to members encouraging them to express their disappointment with Governor Lingle for placing HB 444 on the list of potential vetoes.

Last week some of Hawaii’s largest businesses, including Time Warner Cable Inc., Aon Corp, Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc., and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. spoke out in favor of the Civil Unions bill demonstrating that fairness is good for the economy and good for the community.

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