Gov. nixes civil union bill; groups to sue

July 7, 2010 at 7:54 AM
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HONOLULU, July 7 (UPI) -- Supporters of civil unions for homosexual couples in Hawaii say they intend to sue in state court now that the governor vetoed a civil union bill.

The groups, which include the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal, said they will ask a judge to rule Hawaii's Constitution provides for equal rights, including civil unions, to gay and lesbian couples, KITV, Honolulu, reported Tuesday.

"We are standing ready to file that lawsuit in short order to ensure that LGBT (gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender) families in Hawaii are provided equal rights and benefits. To be sure, the Hawaii Constitution already provides that and we're going to make sure that the courts agree with us," ACLU-Hawaii Legal Director Lois Perrin said.

Gov. Linda Lingle said she expected censure of her decision after vetoing the legislation Tuesday. After her veto was announced, civil union supporters criticized her for saying voters should decide the fate of civil unions.

"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," Lingle said during a news conference.

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