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Hawaii Republican Linda Lingle Wants the People to Vote on a Constitutional Marriage Amendment: VIDEO

Lingle

Former Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, a longtime foe of equality and currently the GOP nominee in Hawaii's U.S. Senate reace, talked same-sex marriage with her Democratic opponent, Hawaii Congresswoman Mazie Keiko Hirono, in a debate last week On Top reports. Lingle says she thinks it's appropriate that the people vote on a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Said Lingle: "Well this is a question that I have spent an awful lot of time on as governor. And I know people have very strong feelings on both sides. It's something that I've wrestled with, President Obama has wrestled with it. I would certainly support putting this constitutional amendment on the ballot. Personally, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. But I also think the people of Hawaii should be able to make that decision."

Said Hirono: "We all remember when as governor she vetoed the civil unions bill and in doing so, before she vetoed it, she invited members of the LGBT leadership to join her. And they thought that she was going to sign that bill into law. And instead, right in front of them, the very group that had worked so hard to pass this legislation, she vetoed that bill. I thought that was extremely insensitive and disrespectful of their position."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Anti-Gay Former Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle to Run for U.S. Senate

Former Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, who vetoed a civil union bill in that state in July 2010, is planning to announce a run for U.S. Senate, the Honolulu Advertiser reports:

Lingle "Former Gov. Linda Lingle is expected to announce as soon as today that she will run in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, sources say...U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case are the Democratic contenders to replace U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, who is not seeking another term next year."

Lingle made herself an enemy of equality during her tenure as The Aloha State's governor.

Said Lingle at that time: "For those people who want to makes this into a civil rights issue, and of course those in favor of the bill, they see it as a civil rights issue. And I understand them drawing that conclusion. But people on the other side would point out, well, we don’t allow other people to marry even — it’s not a civil right for them. First cousins couldn’t marry, or a brother and a sister and that sort of thing. So there are restrictions, not to put it in the exact same category. But the bottom line is, it really can’t be a civil right if we are restricting it in other cases, and it’s been found to be legal in those other cases, that the restrictions."

Civil unions have since been legalized in Hawaii. Governor Neil Abercrombie signed them into law in February of this year.


Lambda Legal, ACLU to Sue Governor Linda Lingle and Hawaii Seeking Equal Rights. Benefits for Gay Couples

Hawaii

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:

Lingle "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 case is expected to reach the Hawaii Supreme Court, or be rendered moot if the next governor or lawmakers approve a civil unions bill:

"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."


Hawaii Radio Host: Gov. Lingle Shut Out Pro-Equality Activists

On his radio show, human rights advocate Carroll Cox alleges that Hawaii governor Linda Lingle gave special treatment to supporters of her civil union veto while making it difficult for pro-equality activists to stage a rally and participate in the democratic process.

Lingle "So, we ask you, why is it that the people who came to the Capitol building in support of the gay community and HB444 were required to obtain a Special Use Permit and proof of liability insurance in order to participate in a rally, but the pastors, church members, and those rallying against the civil rights legislation were not similarly required to obtain the necessary permits? And, why is it that certain people were invited to a special prayer meeting inside the Governor’s office, but others were excluded? This is why we find the Governor’s statements regarding her veto to be completely disingenuous. How can Lingle say that the public should be afforded an opportunity 'to participate in the process', when she denied certain people the same opportunities, including attending a prayer meeting at her office prior to her announcement regarding the veto of HB444, and being included on a special invitee’s list?"

More at Cox's website.


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Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle: 'First Cousins Couldn’t Marry, Or A Brother And A Sister And That Sort Of Thing'

Hawaii governor took to the radio airwaves a few days ago to discuss her veto of the same-sex civil unions bill in that state last week, which the Maui Times appropriately referred to as a big giant "Fail." A highlight from that interview is below.

6a00d8341c730253ef013484a7613c970c LINGLE: "For those people who want to makes this into a civil rights issue, and of course those in favor of the bill, they see it as a civil rights issue. And I understand them drawing that conclusion. But people on the other side would point out, well, we don’t allow other people to marry even — it’s not a civil right for them. First cousins couldn’t marry, or a brother and a sister and that sort of thing. So there are restrictions, not to put it in the exact same category. But the bottom line is, it really can’t be a civil right if we are restricting it in other cases, and it’s been found to be legal in those other cases, that the restrictions."

A caller named Joe phoned in to inform Lingle that he could, if he so desired to, marry his cousin in Hawaii.

JOE: "And the second point is, Gov. Lingle, you talked about restrictions on marriage. I have a first cousin named Kate, and I’m looking on the Department of Health website for Hawaii, and I could marry my cousin Kate in Hawaii, but I cannot marry the love of my life in Hawaii, so — or in terms of a civil union with him. So, I hope you will take that into consideration. [...]"

LINGLE: "Whether or not a first cousin can marry in Hawaii, I’ll have to go back and check. I don’t know that that’s untrue, but let me go back and check on that."

Lingle also went on to say that "it's not about a decision for individual couples, it's about the impact it has on society."

Listen to her explain herself AFTER THE JUMP.

Also, in an editorial published today, the Hawaii Star-Advertiser criticized Lingle: "One of the biggest differences between civil unions and marriage are social ones. Civil unions are nothing more than a mechanism to provide legal rights and responsibilities to a couple, whereas marriage is a social institution with deeply held meaning. Civil unions are a class apart—children don't dream of getting "unionized" when they grow up. And there are few who would trade their marriages for a civil union. Gov. Lingle's second assertion that the issue is too important to be decided by the Legislature, despite that the Hawaii Constitution requires legislative action, is patently false. The rights of a minority should never be subjected to the tyranny of the majority and this is exactly what the governor is suggesting. Imagine if a voter referendum had been applied to past issues in history. Congress would not have been able to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the U.S. Supreme Court would not have been able to overturn state bans on interracial marriage in 1967."

(Think Progress via Good As You)

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