Instead of focusing on nominee Katherine Leonard, the Judiciary Committee spent much of Tuesday's hearing questioning how 20 lawyers decided she was unqualified and why they won't explain their thinking.
Had Gov. Linda Lingle signed House Bill 444 into law, Hawaii would have become the sixth state to recognize civil unions; five others and the District of Columbia have same-sex marriage. Instead, the civil unions bill was vetoed Tuesday. National media and pundits react to the news.
After years of debate on gay rights and months of discussion on the merits of one proposal, Gov. Linda Lingle on Tuesday vetoed House Bill 444, the civil unions bill. Reaction to her decision — positive and negative — poured in from around the state.
Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed 32 bills Tuesday, including measures on civil unions, human trafficking and the board of education. In all, she vetoed 35 of the 39 bills that she placed on her potential veto list last month.
Lambda Legal said it will soon file a lawsuit seeking equal protection for same-sex couples under state law. The group and the American Civil Liberties Union had threatened a lawsuit last year and in February 2010 when the Hawaii Legislature moved slowly on House Bill 444.
The Hawaii Supreme Court judge whose 1993 opinion marked the beginning of the state's debate on gay rights will be there when the fate of the civil unions bill is decided today. Justice Steven H. Levinson was invited by the staff of Gov. Linda Lingle to attend her announcement, he told Civil Beat.
Today, depending on what Gov. Lingle decides to do with HB 444, Hawaii will either join 10 other states and the District of Columbia in legally recognizing same-sex marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships, or remain on the side of 36 states that do not.