Calling it "marriage by another name," Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (R) today announced that she would veto the state's civil union bill, passed earlier this year by the legislature. Despite that, Lingle said at the news conference that "[i]t would be a mistake to allow a decision of this magnitude to be made by one individual."
Freedom to Marry's Evan Wolfson -- who was in Hawaii in the early '90s working on Bauer v. Lewin, which began the modern marriage equality movement -- issued the following statement:
"In the 1990s, Hawaii began the ongoing international movement toward ending gay couples’ exclusion from marriage and was the first U.S. state to create a legal status to provide some state-level recognition and protections for same-sex couples. In the historic Baehr case, the Hawaii Supreme Court acknowledged a constitutional mandate to treat same-sex couples equally. Governor Lingle’s decision to veto the civil union bill is deeply disappointing and unnecessarily delays Hawaii’s journey toward fairness and equality. Governor Lingle has rejected the will of the state legislature and the advice of countless business and faith leaders and turned her back on the committed couples and Hawaii kin who have expressed their support for this measure. Freedom to Marry urges the Hawaii state legislature to overrule Governor Lingle’s veto and take an important step toward fairness and equal protection for same-sex couples in Hawaii."