Reaction: Civil Union Veto



Lambda Legal's Jennifer Pizer indicated Lingle's decision does not serve Hawaii's business or family interests. “In caving in to a well-orchestrated disinformation campaign mounted by the bill’s opponents, Governor Lingle has abandoned thousands of Hawaii families who have needed this bill’s protections for many years,” Pizer said in a statement. “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.”

The American Civil Liberties Union also hinted that a lawsuit is being prepared.

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

Read Lingle's statement regarding her veto of House Bill 444 on the following page.


States Allowing Same-sex Marriage

New Hampshire

Same-sex marriage also legal in Washington, D.C.

States With Civil Unions/Domestic Partnerships

New Jersey

States With Limited Domestic-Partner Rights 

Colorado — Colorado allows unmarried adults to enter into a Designated Beneficiary Agreement, which provides certain rights including hospital visitation, medical decision-making, and inheritance.

Hawaii — Same-sex couples can enter into a reciprocal beneficiary relationship. Benefits include inheritance without a will, ability to sue for wrongful death, loan eligibility, property rights, and protection under Hawaii domestic violence laws.

Maryland — Same-sex couples are entitled to 11 protections available to married couples. In February, Maryland attorney general Doug Gansler issued a advisory legal opinion concluding that the state can recognize same-sex marriages performed outside Maryland. In a follow-up, Gansler said state agencies should take steps to recognize those rights. His recommendation has not been implemented and is expected to be challenged.


New York doesn't offer domestic partnerships, but recognizes same-sex marriage performed in other states. 

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