Hawaii governor Linda Lingle Vetoe Civil Union Bill

The Republi-Nazi/Christo-fascists have repeatedly told LGBT/T folks that the term marriage is the problem.  That if we wouldn’t demand equality and call it marriage that they would let us have “civil unions”.

What part of equal treatment do these fucks just not get?  Their suggestion that we should settle for something less than equality is completely un-American.  The demand that their religious dogma be allowed to over rule the concept of equal treatment under the law as granted by the 14th amendment to the Constitution is a demand that their dogma be given special privileging in the market place of idea simply because it is supposedly divinely blessed.  A claim made by the majority of blood thirsty tyrants who have sent people down the path to war.

But let us examine carefully the results of attempts to establish second class, sort of bestowing the rights of marriage but not really, for LGBT/T people.  In state after state, location after location where these bigoted un-American constitutional bans on equal marriage rights for LGBT/T people have been passed they have simultaneously passed measures that banned civil unions with the claim they too closely resembled marriage.

Ever notice how the Republi-Nazis love to put LGBT/T people’s equal rights up to the vote?  This is something every single bigot loves to do with the rights of every minority group they have set up to use as scape goats.  It is what the Nazis did with the Jews.  It is what the KKK has done with African-Americans.  It is what the current Minutemen/anti-immigrant racists are doing in Arizona.

Putting the rights of any minority group to a vote when you have whipped up fear and hatred towards that group is not acting like a true American.  It is acting like the leader of a lynch mob.

From the Advocate: (complete article at) http://advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/07/06/Lingle_Vetoes_Civil_Union_Bill/

From Gov. Linda Lingle

After months of listening to Hawaii’s citizens express to me in writing and in person their deeply held beliefs and heartfelt reasons for supporting or opposing the Civil Unions Bill, I have made the decision to veto HB 444.

I have been open and consistent in my opposition to same gender marriage and find that HB 444 is essentially marriage by another name.

However, I want to be clear that my personal opinion is not the basis for my decision against allowing this legislation to become law. Neither is my veto based on my religious beliefs or on the political impact it might have on me or anyone else of either political party in some future election.

I am vetoing this bill because I have become convinced that this issue is of such significant societal importance that it deserves to be decided directly by all the people of Hawaii.

The subject of this legislation has touched the hearts and minds of our citizens as no other social issue of our day. It would be a mistake to allow a decision of this magnitude to be made by one individual or a small group of elected officials.

And while ours is a system of representative government it also is one that recognizes that, from time to time, there are issues that require the reflection, collective wisdom and consent of the people and reserves to them the right to directly decide those matters. This is one such issue.

The legislative maneuvering that brought HB 444 to an 11th hour vote, on the final day of the session, via a suspension of the rules, after legislators lead the public to believe that the bill was dead, was wrong and unfair to the public they represent. After eight years of observing members of the Majority Party manipulate the legislative process when it suits them, I initially accepted their actions as business as usual. That was wrong too.

There has not been a bill I have contemplated more or an issue I have thought more deeply about during my nearly eight years as governor than HB 444 and the institution of marriage.

After listening to those both for and against HB 444 I have gained a new appreciation for just how deeply people of all ages and backgrounds feel on this matter, and how significantly they believe the issue will affect their lives.

Few could be unmoved by the poignant story told to me in my office by a young, Big Island man who recounted the journey he had taken to bring himself to tell his very traditional parents that he was gay. I was similarly touched by the mother who in the same office expressed anguish at the prospect of the public schools teaching her children that a same gender marriage was equivalent to their mother and father’s marriage.

In addition to meeting in person with citizens of differing opinions, I have read legal memos on both sides of the issue, some urging me to veto the bill because of unintended consequences and guaranteed years of court battles while others urged support for what they consider a legally sound bill that grants long overdue civil rights.

But in the end, it wasn’t the persuasiveness of public debates, the soundness of legal arguments, or the volume of letters and emails that convinced me to reach this decision. It was the depth of emotion felt by those on both sides of the issue that revealed to me how fundamental the institution of marriage is to our community. It is as fundamental to those who support marriage between two people of the same gender as it is to those who support marriage only between one man and one woman.

This is a decision that should not be made by one person sitting in her office or by members of the Majority Party behind closed doors in a legislative caucus, but by all the people of Hawaii behind the curtain of the voting booth.

As difficult as the past few weeks have been, I am comfortable with my decision while knowing full well that many will be disappointed by it.

And while some will disagree with my decision to veto this bill, I hope most will agree that the flawed process legislators used does not reflect the dignity this issue deserves, and that a vote by all the people of Hawaii is the best and fairest way to address an issue that elicits such deeply felt emotion by those both for and against.

I have done my very best to reach a reasoned decision in a manner that brings honor to the political process and that I hope a majority of people believe reflects the values of Hawaii.

From Lambda Legal http://www.lambdalegal.org/news/pr/hi_20100706_lingle-vetoes-civil-union.html

Lambda Legal and ACLU Ready Lawsuit Following Veto of HB 444

“This was a sad surrender to political expediency that does not support business and family interests.”

(Honolulu, July 6, 2010) — Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii (ACLU) reacted today with deep disappointment following Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle’s veto of HB 444, which would have allowed gay and straight Hawai`i couples to take legal responsibility for each other by entering civil unions. Having received strong majority votes by both houses of the Hawaii Legislature, the bill was given final approval on April 29, the last day of the session. Lingle had until July 6 to take action on the bill.

“This was a sad surrender to political expediency that does not support business or family interests, but damages them,” said Jennifer C. Pizer, National Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal. “In caving in to a well-orchestrated disinformation campaign mounted by the bill’s opponents, Governor Lingle has abandoned thousands of Hawai`i families who have needed this bill’s protections for many years. We’re also disappointed that the Legislature opted to not override this veto immediately—we would have preferred to see couples win fair treatment through the political branch rather than having to pursue legal action. However, we’re still ready to do what’s necessary so our clients can protect their loved ones.”

Lambda Legal and the ACLU had readied a lawsuit after the House tabled HB 444 in January. The Hawai`i Senate had previously approved the bill by a veto-proof 18-to-7 majority and sent it back to the House for a conforming vote.

“We’re obviously disappointed that Governor Lingle has, once again, used her power to deny the people of Hawaii their civil rights” said Laurie Temple, Staff Attorney for the ACLU. “Luckily for the people of Hawai`i, however, our constitution prevents discrimination based on sexual orientation. If the Governor won’t honor her oath to uphold the constitution, the courts will.”

Hawaii’s constitution was amended in 1998 to allow the Legislature to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples, which it has done. This means same-sex couples cannot sue for full equality through marriage. Although civil unions are a lesser status than marriage, they would provide a full range of state law protections and duties to gay and lesbian couples, such as access to family court to dissolve the legal status in an orderly way, clear duties to pay child support and alimony as spouses must, and other vital protections. Bills to offer civil unions have been under steady consideration in the Hawaii Legislature each year since 2001.

Police: Conn. priest stole $1M for male escorts

From Raw Story: http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0706/police-conn-priest-stole-1m-male-escorts/

At least he wasn’t raping children….
By The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 — 11:29 am

A Roman Catholic priest in Connecticut has been arrested on charges he stole $1.3 million in church money over seven years to use for male escorts, expensive clothing, and luxury hotels and restaurants.

Waterbury police say the 64-year-old Rev. Kevin J. Gray was charged Tuesday with first-degree larceny. Gray is the former pastor at Sacred Heart/Sagrado Corazon Parish in Waterbury.

The Hartford Archdiocese last month asked police to investigate after it discovered during a financial review that he might have taken more than a million dollars for personal use.

Gray was Sacred Heart’s pastor from January 2003 until April 15, when he was granted a medical leave. He was later suspended but still lives there.

Telephone messages were left at Sacred Heart and the office of his public defender.