July 8, 2010 – Honolulu, Hawaii
Video courtesy Office of the Governor
On Tuesday, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle made her long awaited decision on House Bill 444, which would have legalized civil unions for couples in the state of Hawaii.
During the press conference, the governor said the decision was one of the hardest she has faced as governor of the Aloha State, and added that the choice should be made by the voters of Hawaii on election day.
The decision set off an eruption of passionate feelings on both sides of the issue. An emotional legislative session took up the issue – at times playing political hot potato with the matter in light of the looming election year – amidst rallies by supporters and opponents of the HB 444. When it appeared to have died at the Hawaii House of Representatives, the state was shocked when the bill was suddenly passed with little warning on the last day of the legislative session. The House suspended the rules on the bill and passed it with a majority, sending it to Governor Linda Lingle for approval.
The governor had not indicated whether or not she would veto the bill until this final moment.
The House of Representatives decided against holding a special session for the purposes of attempting a veto override.
On the same day, the governor also vetoed 32 bills that she says “would adversely impact Hawaii residents and businesses, would be detrimental to public policy and would hinder efforts to expand the economy and create jobs.”