Governor Linda Lingle vetoes Civil Unions bill in Hawaii

July 8th, 2010 - 8:38 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Honolulu, July 8 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Governor Linda Lingle has vetoed a civil unions bill that would have given same sex partners the same rights and benefits as that of heterosexual couples.

The bill was approved by the State’s Legislature in late April. And Tuesday was the final day that Governor Linda Lingle would have to either sign or veto the bill. The governor’s delay in signing or vetoing the bill led to many debates about the bill.

If the governor had signed the bill, Hawaii would have become the sixth state to grant those rights to gays and lesbians. The state has however not approved same sex marriages. This means couple will have to go to a state where the marriage has been legalized and after the marriage, they could move to the state to settle.

In vetoing the bill, Lingle said the people should decide the fate of the civil unions and not politicians. She added that because the issue has generated so much controversy, it would not be proper to allow a small group of politicians to decide the issue.

Opponents of the bill cheered amid jubilation when the announcement was made. But supporters of the bill vowed to fight for the equal rights of gays and lesbians.

Hawaii has been a battleground for gay activists and opponents. The state nearly became the first state to legalize same sex marriage after a Supreme Court ruling in 1993. But legislators later banned gay marriage in the state.

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