Univ. of Hawaii Prez Distances Herself From Antigay Letter



The Honolulu Civil Beat reports, however, the Business Roundtable's bylaws
bar the organization from taking a stance on any matter of public policy
without the consensus of more than 75% of its members.

Ushijima, president and CEO of Queen's Health Systems and a member of
the executive board, told Civil Beat on Monday, "The group tries to
represent the sentiment of the membership, and so that is really how it
acted." He also said the letter was not to address policy to ask the
governor to examine the issue of legalizing civil unions further.

the Human Rights Campaign have both pointed out that non-executive
members were not aware of the executive board wrote and sent the letter.
One board member told Civil Beat that it had not heard about the letter
until he or she received a courtesy copy from Kai.

"Never, to
my knowledge, has the executive committee set policy without even a
discussion with the full membership let alone a vote or even a straw
vote," the unnamed board member said.

Several of the companies
represented by the Roundtable are also on the HRC's list of companies
that have shown LGBT-friendly work environments and policies like
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Aon Corp., and Time Warner
Cable. Each of those companies, along with Marsh & MacLennan
Companies Inc., and Marriot International Inc. have issued public
statements distancing themselves from the letter.

"While we are
active members of the Business Roundtable and believe it to be a
beneficial organization for the people of Hawaii, we do not agree with
every decision that the Roundtable makes. The letter to Governor Lingle
urging her not to support House Bill 444 is one such instance," a joint
statement issued through the HRC said.

Lingle has until July 6
to issue her final decision as to whether she will veto the civil unions

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