Lambda Legal, ACLU to Sue Governor Linda Lingle and Hawaii Seeking Equal Rights. Benefits for Gay Couples
More details will come after a press conference later this morning HST (this afternoon, for many of us), but for now, the AP is reporting:
"Six gay couples in Hawaii are filing a lawsuit Thursday asking for the same rights as married couples, three weeks after Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a same-sex civil unions measure. The lawsuit doesn't seek the titles of 'marriage' or 'civil unions' for gay partners. Instead, it requests that the court system extend them the benefits and responsibilities of marriage based on the Hawaii Constitution's prohibition against sex discrimination. 'We continue to be discriminated against,' said plaintiff Suzanne King, who has been in a relationship with her partner for 29 years. 'We're a family unit, and we live our lives just like everyone else, but we aren't treated the same.' The legal action in state court comes as a response to the Republican governor's veto July 6, when she said voters should decide whether to reserve marriage for couples of a man and a woman."
"The office of Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett declined comment Wednesday because it hadn't yet been served with the lawsuit. The state grants some rights to gay couples through its reciprocal beneficiaries system. But they lack the same legal priviledges and obligations of adoption, child support, alimony and access to family court, said Jennifer Pizer, senior counsel for Lambda Legal, which is bringing the case along with the American Civil Liberties Union."