As mentioned a few weeks ago, the Hawai'i Legislature passed a bill that would grant civil union privileges to same-sex couples--essentially, all  the rights of marriage, except in name. The bill arrived at the desk of Gov. Lingle, where she had until yesterday to either sign it into law, veto it, or let it become law without her signature.

She vetoed it:

HONOLULU — Hawaii's governor on Tuesday vetoed legislation that would have permitted same-sex civil unions, ending months of speculation on how she would weigh in on the contentious, emotional debate.

Republican Gov. Linda Lingle's action came on the final day she had to either sign or veto the bill, which the Hawaii Legislature approved in late April.

"There has not been a bill I have contemplated more or an issue I have thought more deeply about during my eight years as governor than House Bill 444 and the institution of marriage," Lingle said at a news conference. "I have been open and consistent in my opposition to same-sex marriage, and find that House Bill 444 is essentially same sex marriage by another name."

Lingle apparently felt that the decision was to monumental to be left up to her alone:

She said voters should decide the fate of civil unions, not politicians.

"It would be a mistake to allow a decision of this magnitude be made by one individual or a small group of elected officials," Lingle said.

Yes, every single decision on civil rights ought to be made by the voters. Hence, Lyndon Baines Johnson put the civil rights act up for a national referendum, and whether Charles Loving could get married was subject to the approval of the voters of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Right? That's why the suffragettes were perfectly content to let the fate of their cause rest in the men who could vote, and poll taxes were left up to the people who had no problem paying them.

Because lord knows, we don't elect people to make decisions like this. We elect them to enjoy a nice, official desk and title while we still have to make the decisions that they're too afraid of. Good to know.

For more, see the discussion in the diary by indiemcemopants posted yesterday evening.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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